Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
HOMS: They call it the “Sunni market” – a comic term with a dark undertone.
As rockets and gunfire crackle in the central city of Homs, hardline loyalists from President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect steal goods from the shattered neighbourhoods of Sunni Muslims, the majority population that led the revolt against him.
Grocery stores and thrift shops become loot markets.
Furniture usually goes for about $50 (R410) or less. Clothes and shoes are $5 to $20. Everything is open to negotiation.
Even shopping now has a sectarian dimension in Homs, heart of the 15-month-old revolt against Assad, where killings and kidnappings based on religion became common. Some in the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam and the dominant force in the Syrian elite, say Sunnis want to crush them, not establish a democracy, as activists say.
After security forces pound rebel areas in Homs and Sunni residents flee, pro-Assad Alawite gangs called shabbiha sweep in behind them to salvage goods from the rubble.
Not everyone is impressed, said Mahmoud, an old vegetable vendor outside the loot store. “They are the dregs of society. Now, Alawites will be seen as thieves,” he said. – Reuters