Ehud Yaari is a Lafer International Fellow at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
Opening a low-cost Jordanian humanitarian corridor in the south would go far toward bolstering the Druze and preventing Assad from besieging and starving them.
On August 20, a majority of the previously quiescent Druze minority in Syria moved to open revolt. Chanting slogans to topple the government, demolishing statues of Bashar al-Assad and tearing down his billboard portraits, thousands of protestors spread from the main square of the provincial capital of Sweida to most Druze townlets and villages. On September 11, the birthday of Assad, the crowds chanted, "We will see you in the Hague" (a reference to a future war crimes trial). The Druze were traditionally loyal to the Syrian ruling Baath Party. For them, the fall of the Baathist regime meant the prospect of facing a radical Islamist government, and thus they chose to remain neutral: not enlisting in compulsory military service while abstaining from initiating confrontation. Yet the revolt of late August constitutes a dramatic departure from this neutrality towards what may prove to be a final divorce from the regime...