A British newspaper today revealed pictures of Assad’s Shabiha militia for the first time. The loyalist thugs are shown bragging about their muscles and tattoos and posing with guns and machetes.
These are the same men who are blamed for the massacres of dozens of women and children in Houla, Qusayr and Qubair. Dr Mousab Azzawi, head of the Syrian Network for Human Rights recently treated some of the Shabiha in Latakia, and according to the Daily Mail's report, diagnosed them as deficient:
“They were like monsters. They had huge muscles, and big bellies and beards. They took steroids to pump up their bodies. I had to talk to them like children as they like people with low intelligence”, he said.
The Shabiha, meaning ‘ghosts’ in English, are paid around $200 a day, an excellent salary in war-torn Syria and are fanatically loyal to Assad's Alawite sect. “That is what makes them so terrifying — the combination of strength and blind allegiance to the regime,” said Azzawi.
British foreign secretary, William Hague, said yesterday that his country may send troops to Syria if the massacres continue. Many people have compared the downward spiral to the early stages of the Bosnian war.
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