Syria – the lies being told

Elizabeth Kendal,  Evangelicals Now, September 2012  (Excerpts)

Without a doubt, the greatest lie being told about the Syrian conflict is that it is being waged by President Assad against ‘the Syrian people’.

This is pure propaganda. in December 2011, just three months into the crisis, the Qatar Foundation conducted a major poll inside Syria to assess the level of support for Assad…..the results revealed that 55% of Syrians supported President Assad and 68% of Syrians disapproved of the Arab League sanctions.  So the main division in Syria is not between Assad and the rest, but between Sunni Islamists and the majority of Syrians…..

Western governments are supporting the Islamists. What started out as a non-sectarian protest movement was quickly hijacked by sectarian Sunnis. Demanding regime change and Sunni rule, they rejected all talk of reform and refused to negotiate. The chaos in Syria presented all those interested in countering ascendant Iran with a golden opportunity to take a massive bite out of the strategic Shi-ite crescent.  The Syrian conflict evolved into a regional proxy war.  The US, NATO and Turkey have allied with Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia and Qatar to pursue regime change in Syria believing it to be the best way to isolate and wound their grand nemesis: Iran.

The West has long known that the Syrian opposition was being inflitrated by international jihadists……. In April 2011 the Melkite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East warned that fundamentalist Muslims were calling for Jihad, Christian villages were being attacked and churches receiving threatening letters. ….. Who will stop international Islamists from establishing little emirates in towns they control, where sharia will be enforced and from where Christians will be forced to flee?  The battle for Aleppo is critical. It is home to swaths of loyalist Sunni Arab and Kurdish business elite as well as some 250,000 Christians. Jihadists will doubtless attempt to infiltrate Christian districts, not only to kill Christians but to draw the regime’s return fire into those districts.  Great for propaganda.

Elizabeth Kendal is an international religious liberty analyst and advocate.

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