GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Syria's Druze Maintain a Difficult Neutrality

MIN READApr 11, 2018 | 08:00 GMT

Druze men rally in support of the Syrian government in February 2012 in Majdal Shams, a Druze town on the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan Heights.

(URIEL SINAI/Getty Images)

The most rebellious community in Syria's modern history is a people called the Druze, most of whom live in a region called the Druze Mountain, Jabal al-Druze, about 70 miles south of Damascus. Members of this syncretic, semi-Shiite Muslim sect battled the country's successive overlords, notably the Ottoman Turks in World War I and the French mandate authorities in the 1920s and '30s. Syrian independence in 1946 did not dampen their enthusiasm for revolt, as they rose against nationalist regimes that they felt threatened their traditional ways of living. Yet when the biggest rebellion in the country's history broke out in March 2011, the Druze stayed out....

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