Druze residents of the Golan Heights held rallies supporting the Syrian regime on Tuesday, as reports about violent clashes in the neighboring country continued.
Marching on the anniversary marking 30 years to Israel’s annexation of the Golan, the Druze community carried signs and chanted in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Songs praising the long time Syrian leader were heard all over the villages, while graffiti supporting the opposition fighters was removed before the marches.
Protesters also waved Russian and Chinese flags, expressing support for the two countries that last week vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for the Syrian dictator to step down.
The marching took place only a few kilometers from the Israeli-Syrian border, as reports of a pending civil war on the other side of the border kept coming through.
When asked what they thought about the ongoing fighting not far from them, two Druze men told Israels Channel 2 that the Syrian opposition were “terrorists,” adding “Assad is a great man.”
There are four Druze towns in the northern part of the Golan Height, an area that has been under Israeli control since 1967. The lands were officially annexed in 1981. After the annexation, the vast majority of the Druze chose not to receive full Israeli citizenship and have maintained loyalty to Syria.