Hay Bab Amru, known for long resistance to the army, is enclaved by a wall that separates it from Hay al-Insha’at, which is inhabited by a mixture of Sunnis and Christians. The only way to get inside Bab Amru is to go through checkpoints guarded by the army and there is only a single passage for cars. The three-meter-high wall, which was built a year ago, is filled with snipers. Al-Zahra district, meanwhile, is loyal to the regime. Rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire never stop, so the regime built a six-meter high wall around it.
Abu Ahmed, Farouq brigade commander in Homs, said: “The regime used concrete walls to separate Alawite districts from those inhibited by Sunnis. At the beginning the regime was looking for a buffer zone between loyal and disloyal districts to provide security by which Alawite people can get in our districts but we can’t.
“By the end of 2012, some fighters infiltrated Bab Amru and tough battles broke out. The regime was afraid to lose Bab Amru again, especially as it is adjacent to three Alawite districts.
“In old Homs, a huge concrete wall was built. If you go where the political security branch is in Homs, you will see something like a prison. The road is divided into two parts and there is a 1km-long wall.
“The regime now is more concerned about Alawite families than the army. The regime is trying to provide as much security as it can to the Alawite to make them feel their districts are safe.”