Der Spiegel har snakket med kristne syriske flyktninger i Libanon som forteller at ekstreme islamister gjør seg stadig mer gjeldende blant opprørerne, og de behandler ikke kristne pent.

Det er kjent at kristne syrere kan ha sympati med regimet som en garantist for sikkerhet. Men islamistene hater kristne av prinsipp.

Mens det er udiskutablet at regimet har drept og torturert i stor stil, er det tegn på at også opprørerne begår overgrep, mot uskyldige, som de kristne.

Der Spiegel møter kristne flyktninger i den libanesiske byen Qa, bare 15 km fra grensen, hvor de hører den konstante romlingen av artilleri og bomber.

Flyktningene er nervøse og stresset. De frykter også andre flyktninger. Pårørende til opprørssoldater er også blant de flyktende, og de har et spent forhold til alle de tror støtter regimet.

With fighting ongoing, however, the rebels have also committed excesses. And some factions within the patchwork of disparate groups that together comprise the Free Syrian Army have radicalized at a very rapid clip in recent months. A few are even being influenced by foreign jihadists who have traveled to Syria to advise them. That, at least, is what witnesses on the ground are reporting in Qusayr, where fierce fighting has raged for months. Control of the town has passed back and forth between the two sides, at times falling into the hands of the regime and at others of the rebels. Currently, fighters with the Free Syrian Army have the upper hand, and they have also made the city of 40,000 residents a place where the country’s Christian minority no longer feels safe.
Campaigns against Christians

«There were always Christians in Qusayr — there were around 10,000 before the war,» says Leila, the matriarch of the Khouri clan. Currently, 11 members of the clan are sharing two rooms. They include the grandmother, grandfather, three daughters, one husband and five children. «Despite the fact that many of our husbands had jobs in the civil service, we still got along well with the rebels during the first months of the insurgency.» The rebels left the Christians alone. The Christians, meanwhile, were keen to preserve their neutrality in the escalating power struggle. But the situation began deteriorating last summer, Leila says, murmuring a bit more before going silent.

«We’re too frightened to talk,» her daughter Rim explained, before mustering the courage to continue. «Last summer Salafists came to Qusayr, foreigners. They stirred the local rebels against us,» she says. Soon, an outright campaign against the Christians in Qusayr took shape. «They sermonized on Fridays in the mosques that it was a sacred duty to drive us away,» she says. «We were constantly accused of working for the regime. And Christians had to pay bribes to the jihadists repeatedly in order to avoid getting killed.»

Grandmother Leila made the sign of the cross. «Anyone who believes in this cross suffers,» she says.

Foreign Jihadists in Combat in Qusayr

It is not possible to independently corroborate the Khouri’s version of events, but the basic information seems consistent with what is already known. On April 20, Abdel Ghani Jawhar involuntarily provided proof that foreign jihadists are engaged in combat in Qusayr. Jawhar, a Lebanese national and commander with the terrorist group Fatah al Islam, died that day in the Syrian city. An explosives expert, Jawhar had been in Qusayr to teach rebels how to build bombs and accidentally blew himself up while trying to assemble one. Until his death, Jawhar had been the most wanted man in Lebanon, where he is implicated in the deaths of 200 people. Lebanese authorities confirmed his death in Syria. The fact that the rebels had worked together with a man like Jawhar fomented fears after his death that the ranks of insurgents are increasingly becoming infiltrated by international terrorists.

Mannen til Remi dro tilbake for å se til butikken. Han ble tatt i et sjekkpoint og etter fire-fem timer ble kroppen kastet foran butikken. Også bror til bestemor og to nevøer ble drept. Av opprørerne.

‘We’re Too Frightened to Talk’
Christians Flee from Radical Rebels in Syria

By Ulrike Putz in Qa, Lebanon