TARTUS, Syria — The Syrian coast is not what it was before the outbreak of the Syrian revolution. The war has brought sporadic displacement from the provinces of Homs and Hama, as well as other regions, to the coastal provinces of Tartus and Latakia. The situation was hard for many of the displaced after they were subjected to restrictions by the security services and some regime supporters from the Syrian coast, the majority of whose residents are Alawites. After armed brigades opposing the Syrian regime gained control of some neighborhoods of Aleppo in 2012, tens of thousands of Aleppan residents also fled to the Syrian coast to escape the fierce battles and heavy shelling.
Along the coastal districts, hundreds of Aleppans are quite visible, staying in houses rented from Alawite landlords and distinguishable by their accents and clothes. Meanwhile, it's rare to see someone from elsewhere — the Homs countryside, for example — living in these districts.