Alawite FSA supporter whose father backs Assad tells of a Syrian family ripped apart

The National reports: Loubna Mrie is one of the few who belong to the minority Alawite sect of Syria’s president, Bashar Al Assad, and oppose his rule.

The 21-year-old activist, from a village near Latakia, said the country’s conflict has torn her family apart. She fled to Turkey in August after hearing security forces knew about her role in smuggling bullets to the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA). En route, she was recorded talking to an FSA rebel in a video that was uploaded to YouTube. Within days, her mother was kidnapped from her home and has not been heard from since.

Ms Mrie blames her father, Jaodat Kamel Mrie, for the abduction.

“He is ready to do anything to show his loyalty to the government and Bashar Assad,” she said in an interview last week.

At the beginning of the uprising, her father, 69, a wealthy businessman, became a member of the dreaded shabiha, armed Alawite groups accused of acting as government sponsored militiamen.

Ms Mrie said he felt his financial success was due to privileges granted by the regime. He began arming unemployed Alawi men, paying them to carry out attacks, and training them.

“I am sure he is responsible for what happened to my mother,” she said.

Her decision to work against the regime came from a fierce independence her mother had instilled in her, she said. Her parents had divorced when she was in fifth grade and growing up she only saw her father a few times a week. Because so many people in Latakia, where she attended university, were pro-regime, she left for Damascus and begin assisting the FSA. [Continue reading…]

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