Sweida Escapes Regime Control

False rumors of Druze attacking Alawites in Sweida have spread rapidly. No such incident has taken place yet. As some feared, Wahid al-Balous, a prominent anti-regime Druze sheikh, was assassinated on the morning of Friday, September 4. A professionally prepared car bomb was powerful enough to kill the leader of the “Karama sheikhs” (clerics of dignity), a religious youth group independent from the Assad regime. A few days previously, Balous had vowed not to allow regime forces to arrest any of the protestors on the streets of the town of Sweida as they were demanding essential services such as electricity and fuel; none was thus arrested thanks to Karama sheikhs under Balous’ leadership, who protected the protestors.