Militants Call for Ethnic Cleansing in Syria

Militants Call for Ethnic Cleansing in Syria Militants Call for Ethnic Cleansing in Syria

The leader of Al-Qaeda offshoot Al-Nusra Front, a terrorist group fighting in Syria, has called for increased attacks against civilians belonging to Syria’s Alawite minority.

The Syrian Alawite minority is often targeted by anti-government fighters and western media, being labeled as a “ruling” minority in the country because President Bashar Assad is an Alawi. The Al-Nusra Front and allied groups have previously massacred hundreds of Alawi civilians during offensives against the Latakia province in 2013 and 2014, Sputnik reported.

“There is no choice but to escalate the battle and to target Alawite towns and villages in Latakia and I call on all factions to … daily hit their villages with hundreds of missiles as they do to Sunni cities and villages,” the group’s leader Abu Mohamad al-Golani said, according to Reuters.

In 2014, Al-Nusra and other factions of the Free Syrian Army ethnically cleansed the Armenian population of the town of Kessab in Syria’s Latakia province.

The fighters also looted and burned Armenian homes, stores and churches, according to reports at the time.

  Airdrop for Militants

The Pentagon confirmed Monday that US-led coalition forces conducted an airdrop to anti-IS ground forces fighting the militants in northern Syria.

“The aircraft delivery includes small arms ammunition to resupply the local forces” to enable them to continue operations against IS, Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith told Anadolu Agency.

Smith said the “successful” airdrop was conducted by a “US Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft flying from the US Central Command area of responsibility” and added that all aircraft exited the drop area safely. 

The US announced last week that it would “pause” its $500 million train-and-equip program for Syrian militants but instead provide weapons and equipment packages to a select group of vetted leaders and their units fighting IS in Syria.

“This focus on equipping and enabling will allow us to reinforce the progress already made in countering IS in Syria,” said Smith.