Bashar al-Assad is arguably a controversial figure. Essentially, either you hate him or love him. Furthermore, he seems to divide the international community; the United States of America and Europe are opposed to his ‘regime’ whilst Russia and China voice support for his government.

Opponents of the Syrian government have long called the Assad family reign a ‘2nd generation dynasty‘ and Bashar a ‘ruthless dictator‘. As most Arab countries, Syria has poor credibility in relations to human rights. For instance, Tadmur Prison, the notorious Syrian intelligence agency ‘Mukhabarat‘ and the so-called ‘shabiha‘ loyalist fighters have all been upheld by the opposition forces as reasons to depose Bashar al-Assad.

On the other hand, proponents have underlined that Assad is western educated, represents a secular government and has opened up the press since he gained power in 2000. Additionally, Bashar spearheaded reforms that transformed an oldschool Ba’ath party socialist economy into a vibrant somewhat capitalist country. Additionally, prior to the conflict, Bashar al-Assad seeked reconciliation with the West, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey.

Ironically, ISIS seems to split Assad’s antagonist crowd from his supporters:

The Syrian and Russian government have long claimed Turkey purchases stolen ISIS oil which is smuggled from the deserts of Syria. Furthermore, rebel co-operation with ISIS is upheld as a reason to prefer Bashar al-Assad over the opposition. For instance, the siege of Menagh Air Base in late 2013 featured the Free Syrian Army side-by-side with ISIS – both were besieging entrenched government troops. Also, many seemingly moderate rebels have defected to the Islamic State over the past year – this indicates the opposition fighters lack the secular democratic intentions which its leaders claim to uphold.

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On the other hand, opponents of Assad claim the Syrian government buys oil from ISIS. Many seemingly credible media outlets have reported this story; including Fox News, The Daily Beast and Business Insider. Those who seek the removal of Assad have also claimed the Syrian Air Force intentionally avoided Jihadists early on as to radicalize the opposition and easily gain more international support for the Syrian government.

In all fairness, it would be wrong to claim Assad is an angel. However, with the remaining moderate Syrian opposition on the decline – the current choice seems to be between ISIS and Assad. This decision does not represent pest or cholera; but rather, pest or a bad cough.


The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al-Masdar News.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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Charles Slagal
Guest
Charles Slagal

When there is one shred of evidence that he or his government forces committed an atrocity or crime against humanity, then I’ll believe. Until then, this man should be left in place for stability and if re-elected by the people of Syria, then leave them alone. The sole purpose of this war in Syria boils down to one thing: President Assad refused to succumb to tyranny and allow a gas line to be place on the sovereign soil of Syria. In doing so he would have violated his alliance with Russia… his ally. I find it rather honorable of him…… Read more »

Ron Chandler
Guest
Ron Chandler

Well said. As Andre Vltchek wrote recently, ”The only reason why the West began its horrible destabilization campaign was because it ‘could not tolerate’ Syria’s disobedience and the socialist nature of its state. In short, the way the Syrian establishment was putting the welfare of its people above the interests of multi-national corporations.” Leith puts it poorly saying it has been Dr Assad who divided opinion. The division is 100% by the lying Western media and politicians who use this slander to justify their war. They think that the mountain of BS repeated endlessly will convince us Bashar is the… Read more »

Charles Slagal
Guest
Charles Slagal

Thank you Mate! I attempt to convey to the people of the world that not all Americans are blind sheep and ignorant fools that thrive on instant gratification and greed. I would have added more information, but if I would have made the comment much longer, the majority would not take the time to read it, unfortunately.

Orah Neuah
Guest
Orah Neuah

even the western propaganda knows that assad is the best ruler of syria

Sohail Zazai
Guest
Sohail Zazai

He is the best man and real mujahid

Ивица Милошевић
Guest
Ивица Милошевић

Assad is good man.

Fakhruddin Qutbi
Guest
Fakhruddin Qutbi

Only Syrian people should decide this. I only know that he is legitimate president and elected by syrians.

Edgard Osorio
Guest
Edgard Osorio

Assad ❤❤❤

Barbara McKenzie
Guest
Barbara McKenzie

Can’t say I was impressed by the writer’s list of reliable sources either … The idea that Bashar al Assad is just a bad cold still suggests that he is a force for bad rather than good. Many, many Syrians and Syria watchers would disagree, pointing eg to his determination that Syria progress but at the same time retain its independence. Visitors to Syria before the war were impressed by the pride Syrians had in their country and their president – the first time I was in Damascus the owner of one of the larger shops closed for the afternoon… Read more »

Atalia Roma
Guest
Atalia Roma

Growing up i always saw syria as the better country, every citizen could own their own house, have a small business, or own land health services very low cost, education is practically free, low cost transport services, syrian made goods in country made it low cost for citizens, hving no debts and strong economy, also syria being secular! Peacefully living with catholics, druz etc for as long as i can remember. And when war broke out in other countries, lebanon or iraq ppl fled to syria to take refuge and there were many programs and donations to help refugees organised… Read more »

Lisa Monaghan
Guest
Lisa Monaghan

Well said Atalia! I stand with Assad ??

Atalia Roma
Guest
Atalia Roma

I think we hv learnt from libya and iraq! These countries are not better off since they hv been “liberated” looted destroyed corrupted!!!!

Asad Abbas
Guest
Asad Abbas

Very well said, I also stand with Assad.

Helgé Janssen
Guest
Helgé Janssen

Depends if you read the western propaganda onslaught via the OBOMBA regime or not….and even if you do, if you believe it, you don’t have a brain cell. I have watched and read interviews with this man. What I have SEEN and read defies all notion of a ‘brutal dictator’. At certain time leaders need to take ‘unpopular’ decisions. This does not make him a ‘dictator’. Same goes for Vladimir Putin. They have my respect.

David Stewart
Guest
David Stewart

The USA have demonised him, i don’t know what the truth is, but i know i don’t trust the USA as far as i could throw it…so maybe he is ok?

Hexiellon Domingo
Guest
Hexiellon Domingo

For me a Benevolent Strongman who is just against the Interest of the West . hence the conflict that Violated The Syrian People’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity.

Eva Al-Jazeera
Guest
Eva Al-Jazeera

He is the ONLY true Arab leader. Without him the Arab world is lost. Please, support Dr. Bashar.

Zakarya Elmakhour
Guest
Zakarya Elmakhour

And syad hassan Nasrallah

Orah Neuah
Guest
Orah Neuah

before the invasion syria was a secular country respected every religion and asad is returning it to syria

Небойша Спецназ Марьянович
Guest
Небойша Спецназ Марьянович

The Last standing Hero in Middle East ☺

Eva Al-Jazeera
Guest
Eva Al-Jazeera

I lived in Syria for a year as an American and nothing , but good happened to me under Dr. Bashar.

Scott Claboe
Guest
Scott Claboe

A gentlemen and a scholar.

Salim Jiven
Guest
Salim Jiven

If he was brutal dictator, Syrians would not have elected him.

Arben Puta
Guest
Arben Puta

HE DIDN’T WANT OR HE NEEDED THIS WAR, IT WAS SHUFFED ON HIS THROUGHT, AGAINST HIS WILL, AND HE IS DOING WHAT ANY PRESIDENT WOULD DO,EVERY ONE b**t OF SYRIAN AFFAIRS LET THE SYRIAN PEOPLE SORT IT OUT FOR THENM SELF,

Sahara Man
Guest
Sahara Man

Worst brutal dictators are King of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

زخاري ملكي
Guest
زخاري ملكي

@leithfadel #BasharAlAssad is my personal hero, He loves his people and his country even more and loves what makes it great.

Timothy Bell
Guest
Timothy Bell

We don’t care what you want to call him we love him !

Milena Sorrab
Guest
Milena Sorrab

Right answer (y)

Mark Chenry
Guest
Mark Chenry

Liberal defiantly.

Moriaan Dave
Guest
Moriaan Dave

Liberal reformer!

Syed Sajad
Guest
Syed Sajad

Liberal

Syrian Republic
Guest
Syrian Republic

This is my article btw. I’m pro-Assad but tried to be objective and see things from the perspective of the opposition.

-Chris

Arnaud Sonofthecoast
Guest
Arnaud Sonofthecoast

Hello je vous invite à lire la réponse que j ai donnée à stani auge

Syrian Republic
Guest
Syrian Republic

Arnaud Sonofthecoast English por favor…

-Chris

Arnaud Sonofthecoast
Guest
Arnaud Sonofthecoast

Ok wait

Arnaud Sonofthecoast
Guest
Arnaud Sonofthecoast

I support you , here is the answer that I gave to stani saying that bachar El assad was a b****y dictator :

Arnaud Sonofthecoast
Guest
Arnaud Sonofthecoast

I said, No C is normal, collateral damage alas c is what he happens when rebel troop dicimule to civilian populations environments …. but it’s a practice that France and all be called democratic country uses commonly …. what do you think our bomb blast in Syria ??? Terrorist camps in desert environments? Surely not ! Every day the French army bombarded buildings of houses in the heart of the city of rakka, and those building stands fighters daesh but also good innocent civilian family of numbers that lived well before the arrival of daesh and today ‘ hui are… Read more »

Zlatkovic Boban
Guest
Zlatkovic Boban

Serbian hero ,support Syria and Assad.

Cristina Cantamessa
Guest
Cristina Cantamessa

Liberal Reforme

Jeff Kimmance
Guest
Jeff Kimmance

I honestly can’t understand why they want to destroy him, all he ever wanted was to protect his country from Islamic terrorist’s.

CaLi KilluMinati KaSs
Guest
CaLi KilluMinati KaSs

Liberal Reformer to the bone! No other country in the world had free water, education, interest free loans etc. This whole war is based on slavery, theft, looting, oppression and the list goes on. f**k THE ZIONIOST WORLD ORDER!

Eva Al-Jazeera
Guest
Eva Al-Jazeera

His father was a harsh dictator. Under Bashar Al-Asad things have changed drastically though there was no freedom of speech. Nevertheless he introduced lots of social and economic reforms. Too bad he did not have a chance to continue. More liberty would go a long way without this blood shed.

GEOrge
Guest
GEOrge

@TheDaneChris. Pardon my French but this isn’t an article. Besides the fact it has no value whatsoever its doesn’t make sense

SneakyDane
Guest
SneakyDane

Very strange to see an article like this on Al-Masdar. Assad is a ‘bad cough’ and the modeRATe opposition exists! Chris Tomson seems misinformed about the legitimate Syrian Government and it’s DEMOCRATICALLY elected President.

Gerlinde Nagiya Wright
Guest
Gerlinde Nagiya Wright

Wenn man nicht nur die Lügenpresse liest, dann weiss man, das Assad ein liberaler Reformer seines Landes ist. Er ist nur nicht vor den USA in die Knie gegangen. Die Strafe folgte sofort…..!

Milena Sorrab
Guest
Milena Sorrab

Go on Assad <3

Dusan Miroslav Petrovic
Guest
Dusan Miroslav Petrovic

for terrorist state JEWSA and israHELL is dictator,for me and Serbian people is hero

Arnaud Sonofthecoast
Guest
Arnaud Sonofthecoast

Bon président qui résiste au menace des lobi de l occident et de l Arabie Saoudite ! Longue vie et victoire pour El assad

Peter McReynolds
Guest
Peter McReynolds

Decent article. FOX and Daily Beast are far from credible though!

Jose Taveras
Guest
Jose Taveras

La dictadura mundial imperialista ha venido destruyendo y asesinando países y presidentes en aquellos países del medio oriente que practican democracia y Laicismo para apuntalar a toda suerte de régimen dictatorial, criminal y ladrón del oriente medio, como debe ser, tratándose del imperio que defiende y aglutina a todos los terroristas, asesinos, ladrones y atracadores del mundo, Estados Unidos.

Atalia Roma
Guest
Atalia Roma

English

Razmus Holm
Guest
Razmus Holm

nothing… he´s just a great patriotic syrian man.. who loves his people and syrian soveregnity.. 😉 but cia, and usa supported soldiers are f*****g this country up.. and what for.. democrazy.. hahah it´s not that good… stay with your repuplic…

Карлос Андерс
Guest
Карлос Андерс

liberal reformer painted as brutal dictator for the news of EEUU

Aby Abraham
Guest
Aby Abraham

in my opinion is is a good president

Ali Shamaa
Guest
Ali Shamaa

His Father was a Genius & paved the way for Bashar.People don’t know this but President Clinton once went to interview him for 1 hour Assad sat there & gave him a couple of words & ended up Assad interviewing Clinton.Assad senior also made the mosr important treaty with the Soviets that if Syria was to ever try to get invaded that the Soviets step in & back Syria & that was went the Soviets were bankrupt from the hands of the USA.

brian g
Guest
brian g

@leithfadel what an odd article! The only problem with Assad is his independence from Washington

Paul Ivanoff
Guest
Paul Ivanoff

Poor b*****d.
Can you imagine how hard it would to govern a country in a place as fucked up as the Middle East.
The whole region is infested with religitards that are intent on taking the world back to the dark ages.
At least Assad is having a go at trying to save his country and bring the region out of the 7th century

Jeffrey R Flynn
Guest
Jeffrey R Flynn

I Refuse to beleive the zionist medias persecution of this man

Christine Hunt
Guest
Christine Hunt

Anyone who Obama dislikes has got to be OK

Hanadi Kalla
Guest
Hanadi Kalla

A liberal reformer who was too good for his own time…

Victorious Rain
Guest
Victorious Rain

@leithfadel barring it he is a very good leader (2/2)

John Redman
Guest
John Redman
ahmadfadhillah
Guest
ahmadfadhillah

But only #RuAF Target the ISIS and #FSA. https://t.co/Q7DXPOMi1a