Anti-Assad, Qatari owned daily details major conflict in Latakia between Assad clan and Ismail clan
Translated today by our Mideastwire.com:
On July 9, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Rif Dimashq Hiba Muhammad: “Loyalist sources in the coastal city of Latakia confirmed the fall of 9 dead from the most influential families in the governorate, i.e. the Al-Assad and Ismail families, following armed clashes that broke out yesterday and in which all sorts of weapons were used by the armed men who imposed an unannounced curfew in the Mashru’ as-Sabeh [Seventh Project] neighborhood. The clashes had erupted against the backdrop of a dispute over a real estate property, which then evolved into a militia war in the streets of the city, without the regime troops from the Presidential Guard or the Fourth Division deployed in the area daring to intervene. A media source from the Alawi sect said that it all started with an individual dispute in a real estate office on the Mashru’ as-Sabeh highway.
“The above area is a major stronghold for the biggest families of thugs and influential figures in the city of Latakia from the Alawi sect. The dispute escalated into street clashes and fighting that lasted about seven hours, during which the members of both families were deployed. It then ended without any interference from the security or military forces, despite its intensity and its besieging of the neighborhood. According to a source, the street fighting that took place yesterday resulted in the death of nine members of Al-Assad and Ismail families, assuring that the latter was historically known for its bad relations with Al-Assad family. For their part, loyalist sources commented on the incident by saying that most of these armed clashes were due to the spread of weapons among the militias close to the Alawi officials in the government, and that they were often provoked by dispute over girls…
“The source described the latter faction by saying: “It includes known individuals from the scum and criminals of Latakia and no one dares to stand in their face…” According to leaked information, these clashes have been taking place in a sporadic way for more than two years, often moving from inside the city to the village of Ain al-Aruss in the city of Qardaha, which is exclusively inhabited by the Alawis. The armed conflict between the Ismail and Al-Assad families in particular goes back to the arrest of Dr. Abdul-Aziz al-Kheir, the Alawi oppositionist from the Coordination Committee, who was kidnapped and killed by the Air Force intelligence under torture, at the end of August 2013. An alliance was thus sealed between the Al-Kheir and Ismail families and they engaged in clashes with Al-Assad family and its allies.
“The city of Qardaha is known for its open weapons market, which is providing the inhabitants of the area with all types of armament. Its weapons were used in a war witnessed in the Latakia neighborhoods at the end of September 2012 and caused the death of members of Al-Assad, Makhlouf and Shalish families, after the bodies of two girls from an influential family were found on the road between the coastal cities of Latakia and Jabla. The Ismail family is known to be a feudal and wealthy family in the coastal region, and has been so even before the arrival of Al-Assad family to power. And tales are circulated among the Latakia governorate’s inhabitants, saying that the members of Al-Assad family worked for the Ismail family during the period of feudalism, before their assumption to power.”