The Schizophrenia of Syrian Christians

(di Joshua Landis, Syria Comment). Syria’s Christians are torn between supporting and opposing the regime. Some believe that the regime must be stopped. They fear that as Sunnis are displaced and chased from their own homes that they will prey upon the weaker Christians, taking their homes and apartments. This is already happening in Homs and Wadi Nasara. (See note below) For this reason they blame Assad and want him stopped. Others remain loyal to the regime, believing that a Sunni victory will cause Christians to lose even more.

A friend from Wadi Nasara (The Christian Valley and Marmarita region just north of Lebanon and south of Homs) writes:

My wife is from a village in the Christian heartland of Syria, and her family is telling her and her sisters, the Syrian Army is pounding Aal’Hosn, the Crusader Castle, not far from their village, and also displaced Sunni’s have rented properties in a village not far from her’s called Mar Marita and are refusing to continue to pay rent or leave the village, and it’s creating tension among the villagers and the Sunni’s who moved in.

I read your FP article and I understand your points, however, the killing needs to be stopped and although you make valid points for non-intervention, there are ways the world can slow down Assad’s killing machine, without getting involved with boots on the ground or Iraqi style…

this is rapidly evolving into a very clear sectarian war, in that the Alawite villages that surround certain Sunni villages, are taking revenge on the loved ones they have lost who were fighting for Assad….

My wife thinks unless something happens soon to stop Assad, and calm the nerves of the people who are clearly on high edge, the tit for tat vengeful killings will escalate, and soon it will envelope the Christians, as the Sunni’s are starting to quietly / not so quietly raise the rhetoric that the Christian silence is not so deafening to them, anymore…..

Like I said the other day, people renting homes to Sunni’s are now finding out they not only won’t leave, but now, it looks like a great many are not willing to continue to pay rent, telling the Christians, “if you want your money, go get it from your government”……wow…..how long does anyone think THAT, in itself, is going to last, before it explodes…?

A Christian from Marmarita in the Wadi Nasara (Christian Valley region just south of the Alawite mountains and north of Lebanon.)

…Over 40 young men (including a couple of doctors) from the Wadi area, we’re killed by the bearded men who are eager to give us democracy. In a few of these killing, they decapitated the bodies and severed limbs. In one occasion, they gave the body back to the family but kept the head and put it on top of a hill. They stood about a couple hundred feet and challenged anyone to come pick it up. Finally a guy drove his pickup truck in high speed and picked up the head under fire.
Here is another one: at one point, Crac de Chevaliers became a multinational hub of Afghani, Libyans and Lebanese bearded men. The Afghanis were actually non-threatening. But the two Arab groups had an argument as to which sheikh should rule the castle. There was a Libyan sheikh and a Lebanese one. A fire fight erupted, and a few martyrs died. Now the castle was finally cleaned up by the army. It turned out that the Lebanese sheikh was actually wanted in Lebanon for commuting several murders. He was caught alive. … This is the sad truth. The good news is that the security situation is steadily improving. The hope is that the refugees will return to their homes and start the rebuilding process…..
Most of them settled in Tartous, Latakia, Aleppo or Damascus. My sister made new friends from Homs, who only had their clothes and left everything behind. A few who are well to do rented shops and started their businesses (or clinics) there.
Another story:  my first cousin’s sister in law fled her house in bustan al deewan because of daily harassment by the militants from Baba Amr and al-khalideeah. A few weeks after she left, she called her own home number. A guy answers the phone. She asked who he is. He gave a name. She asked “what are you doing here”.  He said he lives there. She told him “but this is my house”.  He said “the priest of the local church gave it to me”.
The militants constantly drive through the area, and either fire shots in the air, or show their weapons. They have essentially settled in the empty houses. They only leave when the government forces kick them out, only to return later when the cat is away from the rat.
Churches are demolished inside. Anything of value is stolen. Things of little value are thrown on the street and destroyed.
A distant relative of mine (in his seventies) was shot in his leg. When his family tried to take him to a hospital, the long-bearded men didn’t allow them to touch him. He bled to death. He was from marmarita living in Homs.