Shabiha abduct christian girls

Different Shabiha groups (armed pro-Assad militias) are trying to find new ways to fund themselves. The regime is not able to finance them and hence it allowed them to find ways to generate cash money. Their rely on criminal activities and running extortion networks and the ransoms from kidnapping.

In 2012 and 2013, Shabiha groups targeted mainly the uprising neighborhoods. By time, these sources started to dry because more areas went out of the regime’s control. The shabiha started to target neutral and pro-Assad neighborhoods. Apparently, they are targeting the christian community now, and once they realize it is not enough anymore, I believe they won’t hesitate to target other neutral or loyal communities, including the Alawite ones.

The piece below from All4Syria website and translated by The Syrian Observer:

“A number of cases of abduction of Christian girls have increased recently in the city of Homs, especially in the pro-regime neighborhoods. A member of the Reconciliation Committee, Father Michelle Numan, called on the authorities to reveal the fate of the abducted girls and uncover the fate of young Christians who were kidnapped, saying they were likely to have been abducted by the security forces.

The activists pointed out that the kidnappers usually ask the girls’ families to pay large sums of money to release their daughters, and that kidnappings have become one of the most important reasons for Christian families to leave the city of Homs, which is controlled by regime forces.”

I do not think their goal is to displace the christians, however, it is for financial reasons and nothing will stop them of doing that.

Cross

Angry pro-Assad demonstration in Homs

This Wednesday, October 1st 2014, two car bombs exploded near a primary school in Ikrimah, Homs. Ikrimah  is an Alawite dominated neighbourhood and the bombs killed over 50 people, most of them children.

On Thursday, a protest took place in Ikrimah showed how the pro-Assad communities are worried and distressed. One of the signs was “we swear, we won’t forget, we won’t forgive” “Home is wounded and your silence is a scandal”. Those signs were not against an opposition group, however, they were against the people the demonstrators blame for not protecting the pro-Assad community. Another sign demanded the governor of Homs, Talal Barazi, to resign.

Ikrimah

The demonstrators became angrier. In the footage below people chant “people want the governor to be dismissed” which remind us of the famous slogan of the revolutions “people want…”. Then they start to tell the interviewer why they are angry:

  • None of the state owned TV stations mourn
  • Our children are only numbers
  • If we respect the Syrian people who have been resisting for four years, the minister of interior should resign, the minister of eduction should resign and the governor should be dismissed, the security committee should be changed.
  • If they were children of an official things will be different, but because they are our children no one cares.
  • We want the security committee to be sued

This scene was not normal in the last three years. This is the first time I see pro-Assad people angry of the officials this way. Let’s see if this is going to become a trend or just one incident.