Monday, August 13, 2012

The Alawite State (State of Latakia)

Syrian states during the French Mandate (Wikipedia)                         The Alawite State

In 1920, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the French got the job to administer Syria. Following the principle of divide and conquer they decided to split the country up in several states.

After a few years it appeared that the states didn't prosper, so most of them ended up in a Syrian federation culminating in the Syrian state we know today. Except Lebanon, they refused to be part of Syria and remained independend, and the Sanjak of Alexandretta, which was grabbed by Turkey.

The Alawite State (after 1930: State of Latakia) incorporated a majority of Alawites, a branch of Shia Islam. The capital was the port city of Latakia. After heavy pressure by the better organized Sunni minority they joined the Syrian Federation in 1938.

The distribution of Alawites (Wikipedia).

The French departed Syria in 1946. The domination of the Syrian army by Alawite recruits resulted in Alawites securing high military and government positions. Former president Hafez Asad and his son Bashar, the current president, are of Alawite descent.

next episode: Marengo


  1. Thanks for the interesting post, although I'm watching quite a lot of the news reports on Syria, I haven't seen one which gave any history as such.

  2. Congratulations, Rob. Through this post we can get a perfect panorama on Syrian situation. It is precise, clear and well illustrated. Above all, it is accesible and understandable also to people who listen about Syria first time.


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