Assad’s covert plan to improve his public image in anticipation of imminent elections.
For the past 40 years since the Assad family seized power in Syria, the regime has used a very pragmatic strategy to face political problems both on a regional and international scale. Its approach uses the manipulation of time to dilute political situations that do not suit its interests. The technique predominantly involves concentrating on the most minor details in order to prolong talks and discussions, only to sign agreements they never had any intentions to respect in the first place. Contrarily, Bashar Al Assad has never hesitated to grab the slightest opportunity to crush his enemies, doing so immediately and with complete disregard of international law, human rights and basic morals. His approach has remained the same throughout the duration of the revolution.
Since the beginning of the Syrian revolutionary movement, Assad has proved himself to be consistent. He justified his brutal reaction to the first peaceful, unarmed demonstrators in Daraa by accusing the activists of being armed militias funded by external forces. Under this pretext, he began systematically destroying anything that came in the way of his army, burning everything that showed the slightest resistance to his oppression. This inconceivably inhuman annihilation of the entire country and all its cities was achieved using a large array of weapons, never before used against civil population in the history. From bombs and explosives to tanks, planes, helicopters and ballistic missiles Assad continued on to the worst and most dangerous kind of warfare: chemical weapons.
His brutal massacres were planned to target specific sects with the aim of completely altering the demographics in each region to facilitate control. By raping the women and killing the men and slaughtering the children, he was able to drive 10 million Syrians out of their homes and into refugee shelters.
To the public and the world, Assad claims that the only possible alternatives to the regime would be the Islamic extremists. To legitimize this claim, the dictator released Muslim extremist leaders previously incarcerated under his rule and supplied them with weapons. Furthermore, he withdrew his troops from areas rich in oil in north-east Syria to provide the Islamists with a base from which to sell oil and use profits for weapons. Similarly, he allowed his Kurdish PKK allies to take control in cities across northern Syria to increase tension amongst the varying sects and add fuel to the fire.
To break the momentum of the revolutionaries, Assad employed his time-wasting technique. By besieging, starving and killing as many people as possible, destroying their homes and expelling them from the country for as long as possible, Assad aimed to break the spirits of the activists hoping to bring them closer and closer to giving in. All of this was possible both due to the reluctance of the US and the West to intervene, and to the aid openly supplied to the regime by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah in the form of soldiers, arms and financial support.
Since the beginning to the Geneva II talks, Assad has maintained that he is the only reasonable solution to the end of the Syrian problem, offering to pardon all activists and revolutionaries in the name of peace and a return to normalcy. These promises, however, will be nothing more than a political charade. Behind the scenes, and just as he had done for years before the revolution, Assad will take justice into his own hands, capturing and killing each and every one of the revolutionaries, not even sparing the lives of their family members.
Meanwhile, he continues to order his private officials who have infiltrated the various extremist parties to commit crimes with the same brutality that he has always exercised. His officials also commit these crimes in the name of various revolutionary groups, with the purpose of tarnishing the name of the movement and destroying its credibility.
And now, after taking over Homs and the cities bordering Lebanon, Assad has given the green light to Islamic Extremists to attack the major cities in the north-east of Syria in order to declare an Islamic nation. This will include the Iraqi territories where the Islamists are already in power. As soon as this nation is established, the Kurds will announce their own state, and Assad’s plan of dividing Syria will be completed. His declaration that the only two solutions available to the Syrian problem are either his regime or a divided Syria, will be validated.