Syrian refugees blame Hezbollah, Syria's main allies for their plight

"Post" correspondent meets with Syrian refugees, one of which calls Shi'ite group the "party of satan."

By JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
September 29, 2013 22:38
1 minute read.
Syrian refugees fill buckets with water.

Syrian refugees fill buckets with water 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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ON THE TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER – Syrian refugees, who have gone to great lengths to escape President Bashar Assad’s bombing campaign, attribute a large part of the violence in their country to the regime’s allies.

In interviews at refugee camps on the Turkish-Syrian border over the past week, the displaced persons accused the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia of enabling Assad’s regime to persevere and to inflict violence on innocent Syrians.

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“We were deceived by these countries and Hezbollah,” said a male refugee.

The identities of the refugees cannot be disclosed because of fears of retaliation against family members remaining inside Syria.

He termed Hezbollah, which in Arabic means “the Party of God,” as the “Party of Satan.”

When asked by The Jerusalem Post who benefits from the Syrian war, a young male refugee said Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. He said the Russians have helped Assad “because they sell weapons” to his regime.

The first male refugee said the regime was providing Russian weapons to the notorious Shabiha (“Ghost”) militia.

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The Shabiha force plays a big role in the campaign to crush opposition among the Syrian population. Syrians say the militia is a brutal force of street gangsters who have terrorized them since – and prior to – the outbreak of peaceful protests against Assad’s rule.

Shabiha members “get weapons and power” and go to regime-controlled areas, the refugee told the Post.

When the Shabiha “know someone is Sunni, they capture him. Just two days ago they captured Sunnis,” he continued.

A third male refugee said, “Iran, Iraq, Russia, China and Hezbollah support the regime for their own benefit.”

He broke down how the countries were advancing their interests in Syria.

According to his analysis, Iran and Iraq are “protecting [Shi’ite] holy places in Aleppo.”

Russia, he said, was “selling weapons to the regime.” China exported goods to Syria, he added.

“They are not just killing people, [they] insult the Koran, destroy mosques and torture religious people,” said the third refugee.

A fourth male refugee said that Assad “used Hezbollah in Syria to turn it into a sectarian” war.

Benjamin Weinthal reports on European affairs and is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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