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I don't understand why some of the Druze are supporting the effort to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria.

The Baathists/Alawi in Syria, since they are a minority, have always been relatively tolerant of the smaller groups, like the Druze, and sought to include them in their coalition. Why would the Druze ever prefer Sunnis, many of them highly radicalized, as "rulers" of the country when it would seem obvious the Sunni's, if they were to take power would oppress the Druze. What is the motivation here?

Do the Druze somehow think if the Sunnis overthrew Assad, they would let the Druze live in peace? That seems like a crazy idea to me.

A typical description and summary of Druze opposition to Assad can be found in the Washington Post article "Syria's Druze minority is shifting its support to the opposition." from Feb 2013.

  • 1
    Good question indeed! – Joze Sep 7 '15 at 8:53
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    Remember that while now some people see Syria Civil War as a religious dispute, it started as a demand of a more democratic (and hopefully less corrupt) government. In that context, is less surprising that a fraction of the Druzes are fighting the government. – SJuan76 Sep 20 '15 at 21:15
  • Just an element. Druzes have been in conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and ocasionnaly in Syria, for two decades. It is not very surprising that they mistrust Hezbollah's intervention in Syria to support Bachar El-Assad. – Evargalo Nov 20 '17 at 15:47
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I have done further research and more or less found an answer to this question.

  • The news stories that report the Druze as opposing the regime in Syria, such as the one I linked are essentially propaganda that highly exaggerate Druze opposition to the government. Voting patterns and other objective evidence shows that the large majority of Druze greatly prefer the government to the jihadists.

  • The reasons some Druze have spoken out against the regime are for the most part very specific complaints. For example, the Syrian government has been conscripting Druze men and then using them to fight in far-distant, non-Druze areas, under non-Druze commanders who use them to do dangerous duties. Obviously, anyone would speak out against such a policy.

  • Due to the war, some of the usual autonomy the Druze has enjoyed has been disrupted and their safety has been decreased; in some cases Druze have been massacred by Sunnis. The Druze have been critical of the Syrian government's inability to protect them from such attacks and consequently have called for more autonomy and more ability to protect themselves. Nevertheless, calling for this autonomy is not in any way the same as calling for the overthrow of the Syrian government (as I was mistakenly thinking).

  • Your effort for further research is great but for everybody to enjoy it you should add sources. In particular for assertions like Voting patterns and other objective evidence shows that the large majority of Druze greatly prefer the government or in some cases Druze have been massacred by Sunnis. – Evargalo Nov 20 '17 at 15:44
  • @Evargalo I think it is hardly necessary to cite specific news articles as you can easily find dozens of articles about all of these topics by doing standard web searches. – Tyler Durden Nov 20 '17 at 15:54
  • The policy of politics.SE is that sources are still welcomed. I've just done the research you suggested, and found one single event, the massacre of Qalb Loze when Al-Nusra killed 23 Druzes who refused to convert. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qalb_Loze_massacre This is of course horrendous, but your formulation with plural remains debatable. – Evargalo Nov 20 '17 at 16:23

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