BEIRUT: The head of the Arab Tawhid Party, Wi’am Wahhab, announced Wednesday that his party would close all its offices in Syria, just a few days after many of his men were killed in clashes in the southern province of Swaida.
“The party will not continue any activity in the Syrian provinces, and it hopes that Syria will overcome the ordeal it is passing through,” read a brief statement on the party’s website.
Eleven days earlier, the party announced that four of its members had been killed while fighting alongside the Druze of Swaida against local Bedouins backed by Nusra Front forces coming from the nearby city of Deraa. The fighting also led to the death of around 15 Druze.
After the clashes, Wahhab urged Druze leaders to help arm the people of Swaida so they could defend themselves. But Lebanon’s two main Druze leaders, Progressive Socialist Party head Walid Jumblatt and Lebanese Democratic Party chief Talal Arslan, urged their supporters to stay out of it.
The Syrian government forces dismissed the call to arms, pointing out that its army’s doors were always open to those wishing to fight the Islamists and other “terrorist groups,” according to media reports.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 28, 2014, on page 4.