Sept. 17, 2019
Assad Tries to Stir Up Trouble among the Druze on the Golan Heights – Pinhas Inbari
Since the Assad regime returned to the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in July 2018, pro-Syrian activities have increased among the Druze in the area. During the first week of September 2019, a large group of Druze sheikhs from the Golan Heights sought to visit Syria. However, Israel did not allow them to cross into Jordan on their way to Damascus.
Today, the Mukhabarat – Syria’s Military Intelligence Directorate – has reopened its offices in Quneitra and is already intervening in villages on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights to stir up unrest.
The Druze in the Golan Heights are aware of what happened on the Syrian side and al-Qaeda’s attacks on Druze in Syria that ended in the massacre of many Druze in 2015 and again in 2018. The Druze understood that this happened because they refused to send their youth to Assad’s army, preferring that young Druze would protect their homes in Jabal al-Druze. There are also reports that the Druze are following Hizbullah’s entrenchment around them with suspicion. The writer, a veteran Arab affairs correspondent, is an analyst for the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)