World Bulletin/News Desk
The bloody two-year-old conflict in Syria has cast a shadow over the otherwise united Druze community of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
"The first and last person responsible for the Syrian crisis is Bashar al-Assad, who used violence against his people and converted a peaceful revolution into a military one in order to protect his dictatorial regime," 31-year-old Druze construction worker Mutaz Abu Jabal told Anadolu Agency.
Syria has been gripped by violence since many Syrians took to the streets in March 2011 to demand the ouster of the Bashar al-Assad regime.
The regime has been accused of using excessive force to suppress the popular uprising.
Opposition groups later took up arms against the regime forces.
According to UN estimates, thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced inside Syria and in neighboring countries since the beginning of the conflict.
"The Syrian revolution started as a peaceful movement, but Bashar and his regime chose to convert it into a military conflict," Abu Jabal asserted.
Activists opposed to the Bashar regime have created a Facebook page – 'Echo of the Syrian Revolution in Golan' – as a means of showing support for the uprising.
"Syria experienced a revolution similar to those in other Arab countries, but Bashar remains determined to keep his seat at the expense of Syrian blood," Shehadeh Nasrallah, the page's admin, told AA.
But not all the Druze of the Golan Heights see eye-to-eye on the conflict in their homeland.
"The Syrian government… is trying its best to save what's left of Syria," Yousef Fakhr al-Dine, a 47-year-old taxi driver, told AA.
"Syria is caught up in a conspiracy; those who attack the Syrian army and the Syrian people are part of this conspiracy," he believes.
"God bless Syria and its leader, Bashar, and may God be with him and help him protect Syria as he's always done," said Fakhr al-Dine.
Cautious calm, meanwhile, continues to prevail on the Syrian-Israeli border.
The Syrian army has vacated positions near the Golan Heights village of Majdal Shams.
The Golan Heights were occupied by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
In 1981, the self-proclaimed Jewish state formally annexed the territory.
The region is inhabited by a small Syrian Druze community numbering roughly 20,000 members.
Last Mod: 21 Ekim 2013, 17:37