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Reuters is running a strange but believable story about looting markets in Syria, where regime thugs (known as shabiha) sell in the open street market items they looted from raided houses.

I can only remember our business site kit in Lebanon that used to be stolen by the Syrian army during their presence there. Some of it made it to Syria or local markets then, and some others had actually been returned when the ‘big boss’ or elma3allem had a word with them! It was how everyone did business at those days.

What’s worrying in Reuters’ story is the apparent sectarianism  and fanaticism of the people involved. They call the show ‘Sunni markets’ and they seem to justify their theft with all sort of excuses.

No one seems to care about the rule of law or the loss they cause others anymore. Well, actually, it looks a mild criminal offence relative to killing protesters and shelling residential areas.

These are the spoils of war. It’s our right to take them.

This isn’t stealing, it is our right. Those people support terrorism and we have to finish them off.

We worked it for three hours, taking stuff and putting it in storage. We got 10,000 lira ($147), plus a TV. So why not?

Last week a businessman came from (the port of) Tartous and bought 3 million lira of stolen goods, happy for the deal

Who said business is not thriving in Syria?

Photo credit: Just a feature photo taken by Snapdragon in the Sunday Market in Lebanon (approval sought and waiting for response)