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Analysts have wondered why Syria's Druze have not joined the uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad, despite the fact that the Druze were the first to rebel against the Egyptians in 1835 and against the French in 1925 .The Assad regime understood the role and the influence of the sheikhs al-Aql among the Druze, and hence completed its domination over the Druze by intervening in appointing the leaders of this institution.He visited Druze towns located close to Sunni towns in Deraa, and he was quoted as saying that the Druze could not live in isolation from the events, and could not oppose the will of the majority of the population.He also opposed attempts by the Lebanese Druze politician Wi'am Wahhab to establish a Druze militia loyal to Assad and sponsored by Syrian military intelligence. Following the actions of Sheikh Balous, Sheikh Hannawi, one of the three sheikhs al-Aql, demanded that the Druze of Swaida be equipped militarily as they could no longer depend on the Syrian army for protection.
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