This article focused on the viewpoints of the president of the Syrian National Coalition, Hadi al-Bahra. Contrary to other articles I’ve posted, Bahra believes that the root of the IS problem and extremism is the Assad regime and that the FSA needs more support to strengthen the coalition against them. He thinks that U.S. air attacks against IS in Syria and Iran are undermining FSA, weakening the international coalition because they cannot achieve results on the ground. He believes that airstrikes will be ineffective because they only target the symptom of the problem, not the root (the regime), and he also believes that cease-fires will only be a temporary solution, so ultimately he wants more military support for the opposition on the ground in order to topple the regime. I don’t know how I feel about this considering the last article I posted about the man living in Aleppo who seemed to plea the opposite.
I read this article to get a better understanding of who Assad was and what his motives are. This article described how his older brother was actually supposed to lead the country after his father; but when he died, Assad (who was studying medicine in London) had to take the role. Influenced by a western lifestyle, Assad wanted to introduce controversial neo-liberal policies to the authoritarian structure (the Baath party) that his father had left behind, and when political shake up occurred, he retreated back to the authoritarian policies and used the secret police to carry out his commands. This article also described clashes with him and a lot of members of his father’s old guard, which reminds me of something I read one time where Assad blamed harsh reactions to protestors on miscommunications and people loyal to him acting outside orders. It seems like the situation in Syria is full of finger pointing and confusion.