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The Druze-Maronite massacre of 1860

Rashaya, a mostly Druze-inhabited town, was the scene of conflict in June 1860. The Prince wrote: 'In this town, 400 to 500 Christians were massacred and we saw still the remains of the burnt houses.' In July, the conflict spread from this area into Damas

Rasheiya [Rashaya, Lebanon] ©

The Prince visited a number of sites closely associated with recent events in the region. In 1860 on the Syria – Lebanon border, there had been a fiercely fought conflict between the Christian Maronite community and members of the Druze religion (an Abrahamic religion associated with Islam).

The conflict had its roots in disputes during the 1840s between landowners and their workers in Lebanon. It subsequently developed into a far more bitter confrontation between religious groups, spreading into Damascus in 1860. Thousands were killed, and large sections of the city were destroyed.