Shabiha was said to have joined Army units to kill demonstrators in
Banias, Dera, Homs and other Syrian cities. The report, authored by
Syrian dissident Ahed Al Hendi, said Shabiha was financed by gun-running and
other criminal activity, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Known for weapons and drugs smuggling, robbery, and prostitution,
Shabiha joined the Fourth Division and attacked civilians in the cities of
Banias, Jableh, and Latakia," the report said.
The report said Assad's Military Security Directorate has played the
bloodiest role in the crackdown. The directorate was said to have killed
more civilians than any other regime agency.
Al Hendi did not rule out the prospect that most of Syria's Army could
defect to the opposition. He said Shabiha and such Army units as the Fourth
Division would be unable to protect the regime. On May 11, the division
launched heavy shelling of the northern city of Homs.
"Yet should the greater part of the army defect, the Fourth Division and
the Republican Guard will be unable to defend the regime alone," the report
said. "The Assad family may then surrender, giving way to the wishes of the