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Related to Alawite: Druze, Ismaili


 (ä′lə-wīt′) also A·la·wi (ä′lä-wē′)
n. pl. A·la·wites also A·la·wis or Alawi
A member of a branch of Shiism practiced especially in northwest Syria and adjacent parts of Turkey and Lebanon.

[Arabic 'alawī, follower of Ali, Alawite (from 'Alī, Ali ibn Abi Talib + -awī, variant of , adj. suff.) + -ite.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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The Al Assad family, in power since 1970, has long promoted certain well-connected members of the Alawite minority -- about 12 per cent of the population -- to key posts in the regime, has favoured some Alawites with its social policies, and has set up Alawite-dominated elite military units.
Franjieh also met with Chairman of the Alawite Islamic Council, Sheikh Mohammed Asfour, on top of a delegation of the Council.
An anti-Assad Alawite group hinted it carried out the attacks
On the side-lines of last week's APEC meetings Lima, Perus, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had bilateral discussions about the situation in Syria and Russia's position on Assad's regime in view of their particularly heavy bombardment of the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo - Syria's largest city which is almost destroyed by the Alawite dictatorship.
The deployment followed a warning by President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an that Turkey was bent on protecting both the Turkoman and Sunni Arab minorities in northern Iraq, particularly the Turkoman town of Tal A'far, between Mosul and the Syrian border, which the IRGC intends to use as a strategic bridge between Iran and Syria's Alawite coast on the Mediterranean Sea, where Russia was building a permanent base for its naval forces in Tartus south of its giant air-base near Latakia
Summary: Future Movement MP Khodr Habib said Tuesday that he filed an appeal challenging the results of last month's Tripoli elections for failing to represent the city's Christian and Alawite communities.
In 1966, however, the Ba'thist regime was taken over by members of Syria's Alawite minority who re-made the party to suit their interests, as well as the armed forces and numerous security units.
Some have found it difficult to use terms such as "Shiite," "Sunni" and "Alawite" when describing events in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
The fate of Jabhat al-Nusra (JaN), a Sunni/Salafi group, and its link to al-Qaeda Central (AQC) will have to be decided shortly after the fall of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, which experts predict "could occur in the near future".
The regime's notable cohort of Alawite leaders and the support that it draws from many Alawites and other ethnic and religious minorities as a bulwark against the majority Sunni population that has spearheaded the revolt is also cited as a key factor for its durability.
One problem the Baathists had to grapple with, however, was the dominant position members of the minority Alawite sect held within the regime.
Forces loyal to Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, are also in control of most of Homs.