Skip to comments.Inside Syria: Aleppo's Christians Arm Against Islamists (Sunni Arabs order Christians to leave)
Posted on 07/31/2012 6:38:22 PM PDT by Zhang Fei
ALEPPO, Syria and BEIRUT, Lebanon | As evidence mounts that foreign Islamists are fighting alongside Syria's increasingly radicalized rebels, Christians in Aleppo and elsewhere are taking up arms, often supplied by the regime.
"We saw what happened to the Christians in Iraq," Abu George, a Christian resident of Aleppo's Aziza district told GlobalPost. "What is going on in Aleppo is not a popular revolution for democracy and freedom. The fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army are radical Sunnis who want to establish an Islamic state."
While the 30-year-old shopkeeper said he had not received any direct threats from Syria's Sunni Muslim rebels, he fears a repeat of Iraq's sectarian bloodletting.
Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the U.N. Human Rights Council estimates around half of Iraq's 1.4 million Christians have fled the country, driven out by nearly a decade of church bombings, kidnappings and sectarian murder.
The plight of Christians in Iraq has long worried Syria's estimated 2 million Christians, around 10 percent of the population. The nightmare of similar persecution has led them to support the secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad, which presents itself as a defender of minorities.
With Syria now gripped by civil war and the Assad regime fighting for its survival, however, Christians like Abu George fear retribution, already occuring in some parts of the country, from the Sunni-led rebels they refused to back.
In Qseir, a town of some 60,000 people southwest of Homs, which has been under siege by regime forces for at least seven months, mosques recently rang out with the call for all Christians, who numbered around 10,000, to leave.
The breakdown of inter-communal relations in Qseir stems from both rising fundamentalism among Sunni fighters and the widespread belief that Christians had been collaborating with the Assad regime.
Just 10 miles from the border with Lebanon, Qseir Sunni fighters are increasingly radicalized. Some openly identify themselves as mujahadeen fighting for an Islamic Caliphate rather than simply the overthrow of the Assad dictatorship.
"We fight to raise the word of God," said Abu Salem, a 29-year-old Syrian from Qseir, recuperating recently in the no-man's-land border between Lebanon's northern Bekaa Valley and Syria.
(cont'd at web link)
The plight of Christians in Iraq has long worried Syria’s estimated 2 million Christians, around 10 percent of the population. The nightmare of similar persecution has led them to support the secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad, which presents itself as a defender of minorities.
We know which side Christians are on and we know which side Obama is on.
Does anyone still wonder if Obama is Christian or Muslim?
Obama backs the Muslim Brotherhood against Assad and Christians.
I rest my case.
Put on the Full Armor of God and fear no evil, breathern.
"He said therefore to them, But now he that has a purse let him take it, in like manner also a scrip, and he that has none let him sell his garment and buy a sword."
Hmm Christians with guns, if they get hold of 32 oz sodas look out ...
I, too, am amazed by this consensus. They sure didn’t ask me. The project of overthrowing the existing Syrian govt is a dangerous, radical idea, which relies upon violence.
“We know which side Christians are on and we know which side Obama is on.”
Obama is on the same side as Bush II; both were disasters for Christians living in the Middle East. I expected more from Bush, as he is a Christian himself.