Syria’s Bashar Assad is getting increasingly creepy, if such a thing is even possible. The LA Times reports that his armed forces are herding thousands of civilians into a stadium in Latakia, taking away their identification cards, and warning them that their neighborhoods are about to be destroyed by the army.
Latakia is the “capital” of the Alawite region of Syria between the Mediterranean and the coastal mountains, and the regime is overwhelmingly dominated by Alawites even though they only make up around a tenth of the population. The city isn’t entirely Alawite, though. Sunnis and Palestinians also live there. And while some Alawites are taking part in the demonstrations and are just as much enemies of the regime as anyone else, Assad’s government seems to be more interested in waging war on the non-Alawite parts of the city for now, including a Palestinian refugee camp. And it is residents of those areas who are being herded into that stadium.