Commenter 1: Bashar al-Assad won the last presidential election in Syria. Anyone who went into Syria to check found Assad hugely popular. Of course the vicious, murderous foreign enemies call every election outcome they don’t like a “sham”, but who cares?
The only democracy in the Middle East? Syria!
Commenter 2: If you went only to DC and deep Blue areas, I am sure you would find that Biden is popular as well.
So it is when you go to Damascus and to the old Ugaritic coast (majority Alawite) north of Lebanon, you find huge support for Assad.
You might hear something different if you try, oh, Aleppo, Hama, or Idlib. But if you went on a normal Syrian visa, you didn’t try those cities, did you?
This is not correct. The army is 7
Hama’s all right these days. The city of Aleppo and much of the province is all right.
You don’t understand. This is not about Sunni versus Alawite. The rebels are hardline Islamists who want to kill the Alawites and throw out the Christians. Remember those vast crowds in Sunni cities in Hama, Aleppo, and Idlib chanting,
Christians to Lebanon, Alawites to the grave!
These chants were heard very early on in the uprising, only a month or two afterwards. The revolution quickly turned so bigoted, murderous, and Islamist that it alienated many of the more moderate supporters. There was even a Free Syrian Army Christian brigade at one point. Most of these moderates had gone back over to the government within the first year.
In the years since then, leaders of the rebels have reiterated that the chant above remains their project. They’ve stated as much on many occasions. These are your heroes in Idlib. You proud of yourself yet?
The highest support for the rebels was 1/3 of the population supporting even the hardline Sunnis like ISIS and Al Qaeda! That’s how bad it got at one point. However, it’s gone down a lot since then, The armed rebels probably have 1
Commenter 3 responding to me: Totally agree. The Assad family had a mandate from the various factions like Tito had for Yugoslavia. There were many factions and religions, and the Assads kept the balance of power so that none had hegemony of the other. They were in effect referees among several competing teams. This is simply the best that could be realized for Greater Syria. No other country could claim such coexistence among so much diversity.
When any one group – usually Muslim extremists – tried to increase or grab more power or resources at the expense of another stakeholder group, Assad Senior would swiftly and brutally punish that group for getting out of line and breaking consensus.
It worked so well that no other then Nancy “I’ll do anything for money” Pelosi was hawking publicly investing in Syria as an opportunity.