Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Berri clan in Syria

The Berri clan in Syria is unrelated to the Birris of South Lebanon.  They are Sunnis although some sectarian Syrian opposition sites and Saudi sites are referring to them as Shi`ites.  I asked a keen observer of the Syrian situation to explain to me the recent controversy.  He wrote:

"Berri is a large clan of tens of thousands. Many of its elders are staunch regime supporters. They are also the equivalent of the Hermel families living in Dahiyeh: they include many poor who are associated with crime and drugs and thuggery. Many of them are in Syrian prisons or wanted by the law. Their elders (they include an MP) were known for attacking demonstrations in their areas and beating protesters, as well as recruiting and financing thugs. But these are, of course, a small section of a very large family.

The immediate cause of the execution is unclear, what we know is that the FSA attacked the Madafa of the Berri family where a head of the family was present, he was taken along with the rest and shot.

The FSA says that it was the result of the Berris reneging on an alleged agreement to remain neutral in exchange for not being targeted. The FSA claims that the Berris reneged and arranged attacks against them, costing them many soldiers yesterday.

Do not quote me if you post."