In 1936, five leaders of Syria’s Alawite religious minority—including Suleiman al-Assad, the grandfather of the country’s current ruler—sent a petition to French politicians asking that the territory in which they and their co-religionists lived not be included in a future Syrian state. Such an outcome, they feared, would lead to the endless persecution of Alawites at the hands of the Sunni Muslim majority. Instead, Syria was unified and the Alawite minority came to constitute the political elite. The consequences, writes Robert Nicholson, were disastrous:
Why Partition Is the Best Possible Outcome for Syria
Understanding Hizballah’s Sprawling South American Crime Syndicate
Sunday marked the 27th anniversary of Hizballah’s bloody bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which demonstrated to the world the long reach of the Lebanon-based terrorist group. But its presence in Latin America goes far beyond plotting attacks: located on the continent is the heart of its global criminal empire, which Hizballah uses to supplement the income it receives from its masters in Tehran. Emanuele Ottolenghi, drawing on detailed and extensive research, explains the inner workings of the group’s illicit operations, and its recent attempt to relocate networks disrupted by the U.S. and Europe to the tri-border area (TBA), where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil meet.