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Fighting on the Coast Needs Documentation- The SJAC Weekly Update

8/13/13 9:51 AM



The SJAC Weekly Update- August 13, 2013

Fighting on the Coast Needs Documentation
The conflict in Syria took another turn last week when the country’s coastal region witnessed the outbreak of intense fighting between rebels and government forces. Not only do the clashes portend increasing violence in what had been a comparatively stable region, but it also highlights an area where documentation is markedly poor. Fighting in the coastal region of Latakia began when a rebel offensive pushed into the largely government-loyal area previously held firmly by regime forces. The rebel attacks were followed by government counterattacks that included airstrikes and artillery bombardment. The government’s official news service reported yesterday that it “restored security” to three villages in the region, but fighting continues as rebels and progovernment forces battle for territorial control. The rebel offensive into the predominantly Alawite areas has also been met with unverified reports of rebel violations. The Lebanese paper As-Safir reported that Islamist fighters captured 200 Alawite men and women, whose fates remain unknown. Britain’s Telegraph newspaper quoted an Alawite religious leader who said, “We are still finding people who were killed in their homes, and bodies left in bushes.” Such reports also fuel expectations about retributional violence and the prospect of other violations against Alawites. In one video (in Arabic), FSA rebels speak with an elderly Alawite man, asking him what he expects Alawite fighters would do to a captured FSA fighter. The man says they would probably torture or kill him. The fighters respond that, even though they are Sunni, they will not hurt

Free News of the World Interviews SJAC Executive Director

Earlier this month, Free News of the World, a site specializing in reporting on conflict zones, interviewed SJAC Executive Director Mohammad AlAbdallah. The interview touches upon the SJAC's operations as well as reflections on the current human rights climate in Syria. READ IT HERE.

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Fighting on the Coast Needs Documentation- The SJAC Weekly Update

8/13/13 9:51 AM

captured Alawites. The video can be viewed both as a window into Alawite fears of rebel violence as well as an example of the FSA’s increasing messaging efforts to demonstrate their respect for human rights. KEEP READING. (Image: Image capture from Youtube

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