An Alawi family divided by Assad: husband is suspect in wife's kidnap and murder
Alawis are seen as the barometer for regime support as they belong to the same sect as President Bashar al-Assad and most Syrians view them as the last ones to potentially jump ship.
While some Alawi soldiers are finally defecting, including a female officer, Assad still has the undying support of others. And when it comes to loyalty, nothing is sacred: everything from marriage vows to flesh and blood ties are up for grabs.
In a tragic tale of a family shattered by different allegiances, this week a Syrian father's own daughter has accused him of murdering his wife to prove his support for Assad.
A German news agency reported that 21-year-old Lubna Mer’ie had accused her father of kidnapping her mother and being instrumental in her death. Although Lubna’s mother is missing, she is not yet confirmed dead but in her daughter’s mind, there is no doubt.
Lubna escaped to Turkey, like many other desperate Syrians, in August this year after being chased by her country’s intelligence service. Hailing from the same Shiite sect as Assad himself, Lubna and her family were expected to stay loyal to the dictator through thick and thin but the young activist defied expectations and sided with the opposition.
As President Assad now relies heavily on Alawi support to stay in power, defections are not taken lightly, and strong measures are taken to prevent a rebellion from within. Just a month after seeking refuge in Turkey, news reached Lubna that her Mother was missing.
The young Alawi believes her father, Jawdat Kamel Mer'ie, was responsible for the disappearance. And, on Friday Lubna publicly named him as the man responsible for her mother’s suspected murder.
She is convinced that her mother was kidnapped by Syrian officials, assisted by Jawdat, to blackmail her into returning home. With the civil war in full swing, returning would be extremely dangerous for Lubna, until the security situation improves. However, with her family torn apart by political allegiances, the war may never really be over for the 21-year-old Alawi activist.
How far will the Alawites go to prove their loyalty to Assad? Will they stand by the Syrian dictator to the end or will we see more and more, like Lubna, jumping ship? Leave us your comments below!