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.Jumblatt-0619-def1Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt urged Syria’s Druze to join the revolution and relinquish all links with Bashar Assad’s regime

“It is time to make the bold decision of moving from under the umbrella of this regime, which is destined to fall sooner or later,” Jumblatt said in his weekly comments published in PSP’s Anbaa Magazine Monday

This is not the first time that Jumblatt calls on Syria’s Druze to cut off ties with the Assad regime. Ever since the revolution erupted in March 2011 Jumblatt has been urging the Druze community to side with the opposition against the regime.

“ It is time to join the revolution, which has from the beginning raised the slogans of freedom, dignity and change, which are rightful and legitimate slogans for the Syrian people,” Jumblatt wrote.

This comes after fierce clashes broke out last week in Druze villages on the Syrian side of Mount Hermon between rebels and pro-government forces.

mount hermon mapThe battles killed at least 31 members of pro-government forces and around 14 insurgents, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Jumblatt said the recent “tragic events” have once again revealed Assad’s plan to create war between different religious groups.

“The purpose is to sustain the flaming crisis and keep the regime in power, even at the cost of dead Syrians, and at the expense of the millions of Syrians who were displaced,” Jumblatt said.

Jumblatt slammed Assad’s assumption that his regime would protect minorities, accusing the president of exploiting minorities for the sake of empowering his own “tyranny.”

Members of Lebanon’s minority Druze sect revealed that they are ready to defend their towns and villages with arms if the civil war raging next door gets much nearer.

“Here in the east, the danger has become very close to us, it is right in our faces and in our lives,” said Ali Fayik, a regional official speaking in the predominantly Druze town of Rashaya, near the Syrian border .

The Druze, whose faith draws its roots from Islam but is influenced by ancient Greek philosophy, are spread across the region. They have survived waves of persecution throughout history.

Although one of Lebanon’s smaller sects, they formed a powerful fighting force in the country’s own civil war . The group remains very influential in national politics.

Like other minority groups, their relatives in Syria largely support the Assad regime, seeing it as a bulwark against extremists.

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