'We will not allow acts of revenge' on Syria's Alawites: SNC
Posted Tuesday, September 25 2012 at 02:05
- Assad's regime has blamed terrorists and fundamentalists for violence in Syria since an uprising broke out in March last year.
- Alawites constitute the second-largest sect in Syria, which is made up of a patchwork of religious and ethnic groups.
Syria's main opposition coalition issued a statement on Monday, guaranteeing no vengeance attacks would be carried out against the country's minority Alawite sect, to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.
"No one should fear the victory of the revolution," said SNC spokesman George Sabra, a prominent Christian dissident who penned the statement, responding to fears that members of the Alawite sect could suffer sectarian attacks at the hands of armed rebels.
"We tell our Alawite brethren and all the Syrians, we will not allow any acts of revenge or attacks against innocent people who are not implicated in acts of killing or bloodshed," said Sabra.
Assad's regime has blamed terrorists and fundamentalists for violence in Syria since an uprising broke out in March last year.
Over time, the armed insurgency has grown in response to the regime's violent crackdown of dissent.
Among those fighting are some extremist Islamists, and they have helped stoke fears over the shape Syria might take should the regime fall.
Alawites constitute the second-largest sect in Syria, which is made up of a patchwork of religious and ethnic groups.
Around 80 percent of Syrians are Sunni, while around 10 percent belong to Assad's Alawite community, five percent are Christian, three percent Druze and one percent Ismaili.
Faced with the extremism of some elements of the armed opposition, there has been an increasing number of voices from within the revolt in recent weeks, condemning the radicalisation of the uprising.
"The state will be for all, and it will provide a real opportunity for reconciliation and for the creation of genuine national unity," Sabra said.
In the statement, Sabra issued a call to "our brothers in suffering and in aspirations" to join the revolt, noting that only those behind the commission of crimes in Syria would be held legally responsible should Assad's regime fall.