An opinion poll, conducted by the US daily news service World Tribune, shows that 70 percent of Syrians support President Bashar al-Assad, 20 percent say they do not support either side involved in the ongoing unrest in the country and only 10 percent back the opposition.
The census is somehow a confession by the US officials about the reasons behind the prolongation of the war in Syria. Therefore, under the present circumstances, the US and CIA strategists have arrived at this conclusion that, unlike Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Taliban in Afghanistan, Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Bashar Assad enjoys an enormous support among the Syrian public.
Unless Bashar Assad enjoyed this level of popularity, the people would have lent support to the opposition, and the Syrian president would have been ousted at the outset of the unrest. There is no denial of the fact that the Syrian army is less powerful than the Egyptian army. The Syrian army mainly owes its prowess to the popular support for Assad.
Assad and the Syrian people are in the resistance front and the international system has recognized Syria as a symbol of resistance. Although Syria shares borders with Israel, Tel Aviv has never dared to launch a war against the country over the recent years, because the Israelis are well aware that a war on Syria will diminish the Zionists’ power and ultimately lead to a humiliating defeat for Israel.
Scientifically speaking, every political group has an opposition which constantly seeks to achieve its objectives through legitimate and sometimes illegitimate means. In Syria, which is home to a variety of groups and minorities, the same rule prevails and a group believes that they should be involved in running the country’s affairs; this is completely a legitimate demand.
The Christians are concerned about the emergence of an al-Qaeda-affiliated extremist government whose key motto will be killing non-Wahhabi individuals. For al-Qaeda, there is no difference between Shias, Christians and Jews. Al-Qaeda sticks to an extremist interpretation of Islam, which is in stark contrast with that of most Muslims. The Kurds are also are concerned that if a Pan-Arab regime comes to power in Syria it will embark upon ethnic cleansing of Kurds. The Druze people in Syria also have the same worries.
Over the recent decades, the Assad government has managed to assemble all the Syrian factions under the umbrella of the Republic of Syria. Even the Western officials wonder who else is going to run such a multi-religious and multi-sectarian system. If Assad is ousted, is Syria going to experience an Egypt-style chain of events? In Egypt, every group thinks is more entitled to wield power than any other group, giving rise to the unrest in the country.
However, the Syrian government has some weaknesses. Over the past decades, the Assad government has prevented the activities of parties opposing to the ruling Baath Party. Therefore, there is no powerful party which relies on a huge fan base in the country, so the government could sit at the negotiation table and at least listen to the demands of a part of the opposition.
Moreover, there are some individuals in the Assad family who are accused of financial corruption, but they have never been put on trial. If Assad had brought those people to trial before the escalation of unrest, the opposition would have had far less excuses.
The third problem was the government’s ignorance of the Sunnis’ share of power; a problem which led to the meddling by Saudis and Qataris in Syria’s internal affairs under the pretext of supporting the Sunnis.
Nevertheless, evidence bears proof to the fact that if the Baath Party is dissolved and a fair internationally-monitored election is held Assad will be best option for the Syrian government to prevent disintegration of the country, regardless of factional tendencies. The Israeli are well cognizant of the fact as long as Assad runs Syria, they cannot cast a covetous eye on an inch of the Syrian soil. Also Turkey, which seeks to assume a godfather role for the regional countries, is somehow following in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, the US and other regional countries.
Turkey and some of Syria’s neighbors have paved the way for the infiltration of militants into Syria. According to a report by the German daily Die Welt, only five percent of the so-called Free Syrian Army are Syrian with the rest being foreign nationals.
German intelligence experts do not have exact information about the number and nationalities of the militants in Syria. According to the paper, about 4,800 militants were fighting in Syria in 2011 and their number increased to 14,800 this year. Some of the militants are former al-Qaeda detainees or the US blacklisted individuals in the Arab countries who have sneaked into Syria. The Die Welt report notes that the majority of militants are extremely dangerous and they sometimes use women and children as human shields. Most of these militants have joined the al-Nusra Front and commit horrendous atrocities against the Syrian people.
According to a research center affiliated with the Israeli Army, the militants are from 82 countries. The report cites the names of some individuals from the countries which have nothing to do with the Middle East, including four from Trinidad and Tobago, five from Finland, four from Burkina Faso, one from Lithuania and 26 from Argentina. There are also hundreds of terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) operatives. Most of the high-ranking militants are from Saudi Arabia, Libya and Tunisia. Over 90 percent of the militants have extremist Wahhabi and Takfiri tendencies or are al-Qaeda affiliates. There are very few numbers of Christians and other religious minorities among the militants.
Therefore, it may seem that in Syria, due to its specific ethnic and religious situation, the majority of the opponents of the government must be from the Syrian nationals. However, Western media studies, which are sometimes officially confirmed, show that the extremist criminals from around the world have assembled in Syria under the umbrella of Saudi Arabia, the US and Israel to topple Bashar Assad, but they have failed to win the public support. The US seeks to continue its futile effort through waging a war, little knowing that this time Syria is fundamentally different from Afghanistan and Iraq.