Since the beginning of the conflict, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has mostly been able to count on the support of fellow Alawis in the regime’s coastal heartland in northern Syria. But recent rebel advancements in the region may be changing that.
According to a map released by the Institute for the Study of War this week, the coastal cities of Tartus and Latakia have been the sites of rare street protests for almost two weeks.
And while ISW notes that these protests probably don’t foreshadow any major Alawi dissent from the regime, they’re noteworthy because they’re rare.
The region has been a bastion of support for the Assad throughout the conflict, but pushes by the opposition and losses by the regime could have local Alawis wondering whether Assad can hold onto the territory.
This isn’t the first time the region’s been threatened. It was also the site of major clashes during failed rebel offensives back in 2014. Back then, reports of mass killings and forced deportations were widespread. Now, as opposition forces inch closer, the Alawis could be worried about a repeat.
Have a look at the map below. Via Twitter.
© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)