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Nir Rosen

Nir Rosen is a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Among the Alawites

Nir Rosen, 27 September 2012

Syria’s Alawite heartland is defined by its funerals. In Qirdaha in the mountainous Latakia province, hometown of the Assad dynasty, I watched as two police motorcycles drove up the hill, pictures of Bashar mounted on their windshields. An ambulance followed, carrying the body of a dead lieutenant colonel from state security. As the convoy passed, the men around me let off bursts of automatic fire. My local guides were embarrassed that I had seen this display, and claimed it was the first time it had happened.

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