Pro-Assad militia threatens to go on strike

Asharq Al-Awsat reports:

The state of unity exhibited by the Syrian regime since the outbreak of protests more than 5 months may have finally come to an end. Over this period of time, the al-Assad regime has relied on Syrian military forces and the pro-regime “Shabiha” militia to suppress the protests taking place across the country, but both forces have now begun slowly to move out of the Damascus regime’s control. This is a state of affairs that could significantly change the equation on the ground and may lead to a scenario that will result in a quick and indeed surprising end to the Syrian crisis, which has so far claimed 2,200 lives, according to Human Rights groups’ estimates.

The “Shabiha” militia has played a prominent role in silencing the demonstrations taking place in Syria. The Syrian security apparatus hired the “Shabiha” militia to suppress anti-regime protests, and eyewitness reports indicate that “Shabiha” militants have beaten and killed unnamed Syrian demonstrators, as part of the al-Assad regime’s campaign to quell the popular uprising against it.

However the Syrian regime is now running out of funds, particularly after the protests and demonstrations have continued for more than 4 months. This has led to a situation where the al-Assad regime is no longer able to continue paying the “Shabiha” militia. This has reportedly angered members of the pro-regime militia and may even lead to them electing to withdraw from the picture.

The Syrian regime’s trouble finding funds to pay the pro-regime “Shabiha” militia, who have been instrumental in the al-Assad regime’s campaign to quell the popular uprising, represents the first overt indication that the economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime by the international community is having an effect. Earlier this week, Syrian Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh acknowledged that “we [the people of Syria] will have to tighten our belts” adding that “all [Syrians] will be increasingly affected [by the economic sanctions], and this will create unemployment and poverty.”

This confirms information reported to Asharq Al-Awsat by a well-informed source that the “Shabiha” militia has threatened to go on strike if the Syrian government continues to fail to pay up. The source stressed that this is an extremely urgent issue, particularly as many members of the “Shabiha” militia in Damascus left the capital for Latakia and other Syrian provinces, after the Syrian regime stopped paying them.

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1 thought on “Pro-Assad militia threatens to go on strike

  1. osama

    I think you should be very careful of your source of information. Alsharq alawsat is saudi and i would seriously doubt that they have access to first or even second hand knowledge of whats going on in syria, let alone a “well-informed” source on the ground. I suspect this article is an attempt to give fresh impetus to flagging support for the rebels and to indicate that the end is near and that we should expect to see a dramatic collapse of the regime.

    I suspect that the counter revolution being led by saudi is attempting to take advantage of the calls for change across the region to sweep away the forces which have opposed their vision of the middle east. Syria would be the lynch pin here and getting rid of the regime their would go a long way to undermining all forces which depend on syria for both moral and material support. Also, the forces playing a key role in fighting for change (read mainstream muslim brotherhood) have good if not excellent ties to saudi. Saudi sees this as a golden opportunity to create a more friendky environment for themselves, as they see themselves as the leaders of the sunni muslim world.

    As for the america and the west, their approach has been one dimensional, be it in syria or any other country, and i don’t mean the media. It is clear they don’t know what there doing, but more of a reflex action. any attempt to impose solutions will go the way of iraq and will most likely result in new authoritarian regimes and not secular democracies.

    Much has been made of turkey as a model, quite the opposite, the view of turkey in the arab middle east is that it spent 50 years trying to gain acceptance by the west, only to end up returning to the fold after umpteen humilating rejections. Maybe if ataturk banned islam instead of headscarves, they would have had better luck.

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