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Poll shows Assad remains in favor with Syrians

THE LEVANT NEWS — Despite a heavy counter narrative by the West, a 2014 poll shows Assad still has the support of a large percentage of Syrians.

An online opinion poll conducted in the July of 2015 by a research firm working with the American and British governments found that Syrians support President Bashar al Assad and Iran, an ally of the Syrian government, more than they support the Western backed forces—this now includes France, Britain, the United States and Russia.

In direct contradiction to the narrative favored by the US State Department and coalition allies, the poll suggests that Syrians support the longtime Syrian leader despite an increasingly unstable and violent country. Western allies will rely on the already oft-used depiction of moderate rebels fighting a dictator as justification to become more involved in the conflict.

The US has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria since September 2014, racking up countless civilian deaths and failing to tip the power balance between Assad, the Daesh and rebel fighters in any significant direction. France and Britain began airstrikes in support of rebel fighters in November of this year, soon after Russia began supporting Assad’s government forces in September.

The survey was conducted by public opinion research firm ORB International, with a focus on conflict zones. It shows that 47 percent of Syrians believe that Assad has a positive impact on Syira, whereas 35 percent pledged support for the Free Syrian Army and 26 percent for the Syrian Opposition Coalition.

Additionally, the poll found that 43 percent of Syrians support Iran, at least in relation to the Saudi-led Arab Gulf State coalition which garnered 37 percent support. Iran and Saudi Arabia are to some extent fighting a proxy war in Syria, with Iran backing the government of Assad and Saudi backing the Western allies.

Another poll conducted in May 2014 found similar statistics and percentages. Assad’s government received majority favorable support, in that the poll participants believe Assad best represents their interests.

Assad received 35 percent support while the opposition forces all received below 10 percent of support. 9 percent of those polled supported Al-Nusra and another 9 percent the Free Syrian Army; the ambiguously defined “general rebels” received 6 percent support; ISIS received 4 percent.

The numbers are striking, albeit a year old, because they show that a large percentage of Syrians would rather keep Assad as president than other factions jockeying for power. And while the Syrian moderate rebels have backing from the West, Syrians do not believe by any majority in the groups’ abilities.

Not only does the West continue to wage proxy war against Assad and in weak support of rebel factions, Assad maintains that the reason he is still in power is due to the national support of Syrians. Without it, he contends, the continuous attacks by powerful Western militaries would have unseated him long ago.

Source: American Herald Tribune

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