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Report Warns Against Sectarian Conflict in Syria in Wake of Displacement | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Civilians fleeing fighting in their area sit at the back of a pickup truck with their belongings in the southern countryside of Aleppo, Syria October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan

Beirut – A recent report issued by a Syrian rights center said that forced displacement and demographic changes in Syria were threatening the social fabric and the national identity, in light of attempts by international powers to implement their own agendas in the Middle Eastern country.

The report noted that more than 15 million Syrians were forced to flee their homes due to war and live in dire humanitarian conditions whether in refugee camps within Syria or in other countries.

The report entitled, “Displacement in Syria”, which was issued by the Syrian Center for Legal Studies, blamed the Syrian regime for conducting “organized and extensive forced displacement campaigns”, since the beginning of the anti-government protests in 2011.

“This strategy had paved the way for the establishment of the principle of the guardianship of the Islamic jurist (Wilayat al-Faqih), which seeks to transform the revolution in Syria into a Sunni-Shi’ite conflict…and consolidate the Iranian influence,” the report stated.

It added that the displacement strategy was a common interest between the Syrian regime and Iran, who had different goals and ambitions behind the Syrian war.

“While Assad wants to strike the revolution and regain his full control over Syria, Iran is seeking to establish a demographic change that grants it strong presence and influence on the Syrian arena,” the report said.

It also explained that the Syrian regime was implementing the forced displacement with the support of sectarian militias.

“Communities, which were displaced, mostly belong to one religious confession,” it noted.

The report went on to say that practices imposed by the Syrian regime on areas controlled by the opposition included “systematic murder, blockade and destruction of the infrastructure” – in addition to starving the population and looting residents’ properties.

It noted that Iran wanted to establish a demographic change in some Syrian areas, either through military force or by way of “soft power”, by buying properties and real estate and launching projects and investments.