Saudi Al Watan newspaper quoted its sources in the Syrian opposition as saying that “the authorities of Damascus have been granting Lebanese Hezbollah members and Iraqi militia Shiites the Syrian nationality , and has been registering them as residents of the city of Sweida, which is predominantly Druze.Sweida is known as the largest city in Jabal al-Arab, known as the “cradle of the Great Revolution” in the face of the French occupation led by Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in 1925.
According to Al Watan sources Syrian president Bashar Al Assad is aiming to change the demographics of Sweida with the aim of confronting the Sunnis who are very strong south of Syria.
This is not the first time this issue comes up. Reports circulated in mid July that Iran was also seeking to extend its influence in Jabal al-Arab or Jabal al-Druze, through local agents. This according to the report included the settling of Lebanese and Syrian Shiites displaced by the fighting in the area near Sweida ( Daraa) . This is reportedly part of an Iranian plan to grant the Syrian nationality to 750,000 Shiites from the Middle East. According to the report the Iranians have deposited $2 billion into the Real Estate Bank of Syria to purchase land in this area