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Assad used Daesh as 'bogey' to scare opponents in Sweida province: study

Local | 2020-05-22 03:12:47
Assad used Daesh as 'bogey' to scare opponents in Sweida province: study
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Many of the Syrian opposition believe that the Syrian regime and key ally Iran had paved the road for Daesh since 2003.

A recent study by the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Researches and the Center for Democratic Republic Studies, addresses the relation between Assad and IS as two sides of the same coin. The study selects Sweida province as a the focal point of this cooperation between the two parties and the epicenter of sectarian discrimination in the region.

The study states that, “Of all the regime’s tested tools, the people in power resorted to the worst of it to deal with a complex issue in complicated circumstances, spreading discord through sectarian conflicts under the motto of ‘divide and conquer’… A tried-and-tested recipe that Hafez al-Assad has used before to break the will of the Syrians, Lebanese and Palestinians, and to interfere in Iraq.

“Sweida was within the general domain that was subjected to oppression and abuse to prevent people from mobilizing, with Assad unleashing his methodological chaos through security services that amplified sectarian sensitivities in order to escalate the divide between the Syrians and to widen the rift that it has long fostered within the community, until ultimately investing in terrorism and extremism.”

According to the study, Assad’s policies created the “optimal conditions” to deepen the divide and to generate it when the armed conflict prevailed... Thus, “religious” flags flew over Syria and fragmentation grew. The majority of the community in Suwaida leaned towards neutrality that, when necessary, they would protect with weapons.

The study concluded that because of the weakened national democratic opposition in the province, from decades of oppression, and the dissension that the regime fosters among the majority of its Druze community with the Bedouins, on the one hand, and with Daraa on the other, a traditional Druze initiative was launched that presents customary defense ideas of the majority of the population in the region.

The study also included a threat by Assad’s Press Officer, Luna al-Shibl, in an interview with a delegation from Suwaida, saying that, “If the young people in Sweida do not join the army, then ISIS will be on your doorstep.” Many in the region agree that the regime uses IS as a scarecrow and alternative to its militias, similar to what it had achieved in other cities to ensure their obedience under the pretext of protecting the minorities.

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