The massive attack led by Syrian President Assads
forces is considered one of the most violent in the countrys seven-year war, with horrific civilian casualties -- many of them children -- in what United National human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein called a monstrous campaign of annihilation, Durbin wrote in a letter to President Trump.
He never expressed such outrage for the thousands killed in hospitals and bread lines by Assads
barrel bombs and Russian warplanes.
Using a strategy akin to divide-and-conquer, the Assads
used their power to raise those closest to them to the highest echelons of Syrian society, pitting families against each other and selectively co-opting the interests of some to cement a base of loyalists.
The offensive gained more intensity Christmas Day, when one of President Bashar Assads
most trusted and experienced officers took command of the operation to extend the governments presence toward Idlib and boost security for the road that links the capital, Damascus, with Aleppo, Syrias largest city.
We do think its important that Assads
departure is done in an orderly way," he said.
On May 21, 2016, this newspaper reported anti-IS graffiti in Shia neighborhoods of the city amid reports of several youths having joined the Assads
battle against the Middle Eastern terrorist group, IS, in Syria.
We have lived with the Assads
since Richard Nixon went to Damascus.
Among the Kurdish groups, some are Assads
allies; some are Americas allies.
But unlike Jadid, whose Alawite tribe was far superior than that of the Assads
, the then new defence minister quickly consolidated his power base both within the Ba'th Party and the military.
States are fragmenting; a self-proclaimed caliphate has taken deep roots in Syria and Iraq, and now has a presence in many more countries around the world; a rising, still-revolutionary Iran is using proxy forces to destabilize nearly every Arab state; the old order embodied by the secular dynasties of the Mubaraks, Assads
and Gadhafis is shattered.
Turkey, which turned itself into a jihadi freeway in its determination to bring down the Assads
,'' reminded David Gardner in the Financial Times, "has in practice boiled down its Syria policy to a single issue: how to stop Syrian Kurds capturing more territory along its southern border.
He says the Assads
are "the most violent thuggish clan in the Alawite community".