By contrast, Cockburn takes a generous view of the regime’s belated and brief confrontation with ISIS. He has pronounced Assad’s army its “main military opponent,” deserving of Western support. But facts tell a different story. According to a Carter Center study, the regime has spared ISIS in 90 percent of its attacks; and an IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center (JTIC) study finds that in 2014, the regime targeted ISIS in only 6 percent of its attacks. (ISIS in turn directed its fire on the regime in only 13 percent its operations.)
Since Aboud Dandachi laid out the shaping of the battle by Assad forces in his refreshingly honest and entertaining history and polemic, The Doctor, The Eye Doctor and Me: Analogies and Parallels Between the World of Doctor Who and the Syrian Conflict (2014), the feudal perversion of a modest pro-democracy protest in 2011 into a brutal epic one might title “Assad vs The Terrorists” has been apparent but the statistics on how it was done never so well relayed.
BackChannels (oh the bias!) commonly invokes the term “Putin-Assad-Khamenei” in place of Bashar al-Assad alone to play up the axis, its Russo-Iranian core, and define the conflict in Syria as other and greater than “civil war”, a mere internal dispute, the greater dispute being that between medieval absolute power and modern democratic distributed or popular power.
Pulse. “Syria: Beyond the Red Line” — “An important discussion on Syria, hosted by the Frontline Club, featuring Jonathan Littell, Orwa Nyrabia, Laila Alodaat, and Nerma Jelacic.” Video featured. May 28, 2015.
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