Monday, November 18, 2013

Alawites in ʿAkkar fear that violence in Tripoli could spread to their villages

The violent situation between Sunnis and Alawites in Tripoli is even more tense now, due to the alleged involvement of senior Alawite leader ʿAli ʿAid (Eid) in the August mosqe bombings. According to the Daily Star, the conflict is now threatening the Alawite villages in northern Lebanon's ʿAkkar district close to the Syrian border (where ʿAli ʿAid resides).
After Eid was summoned, media reports emerged that Syrian tanks gathered on the other side of the border, which is very close to Eid’s residence in Hikr al-Daheri, where he currently resides.
Some Alawites fear that their community would pay a price, however, if the Syrian army targets Akkar. “Syrian tanks [on the other side of the border] are aiming at Akkar. Unfortunately, Alawite villages in Akkar will pay the price once the first shell is fired,” a source familiar with the community in Akkar told The Daily Star. 
Eid did not show up at court for questioning Tuesday, claiming the charges were fabricated by the Internal Security Forces Information Branch. Alawite religious figures say that the allegations target their sect.
Prior to the civil war, there was effectively no sectarian violence involving Alawites in Akkar. Over the past decades, many Alawites in the region married outside their faith and coexisted with Sunnis in several villages, integrating them into the community. 
Villages predominated by Alawites stretch along the Syrian border near the Nahr al-Kabir River. The Villages include Tal Hmeira, Simaqieh, Hikr al-Daheri, Massoudieh, Talbireh, Rihaniyeh, Hikr al-Hawshab, Abboudieh, Qanbar, Ain al-Zayt and Haysa. The number of Alawites in Akkar is estimated to range between 9,000 and 13,000. 

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"Alawite villagers fear Tripoli violence could spread"

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