The Syrian Revolution and the unfair Western view
Syria is a country known to the world as a country of history and culture, a country living in peace, security and coexistence of all religions.
When the Syrian revolution began in March 2011, Europe watched with eyes of sadness the killing of peaceful demonstrators against Assad. With the increasing violence in the country and the rise of complexities, it seemed that the Western public started to get lost in the details. The Syrian opposition, being unorganized, did not succeed in conveying to the West the real picture about Syrian revolution. The Assad regime and its supporters were more aware of the importance of the media and their impact on Western societies on the one hand, and of the effect of these societies on the decision-makers in these countries on the other.
European community’s current view of the Syrian revolution
Most Western societies believe that what is happening in Syria is a "civil war" between Sunnis and Shiites and that there is no such thing as a revolution now, and that the current options are between either dictator Bashar Assad or the Sunni terrorist organizations led by ISIS and al-Qaeda.
The horror that the West has lived and is still living in, caused by terrorist attacks conducted by ISIS and al-Qaeda in Europe and USA, and the huge media war adopted by the US administration after the events of September 11, created western citizens’ fear of Islam in general. An example is a personal experience, few weeks ago, at a lecture on the geopolitical effects of the failed coup in Turkey held in Athens, where I was surprised to hear a speaker saying that what is happening in Syria is a "war against terrorists led by jihadist groups based in Istanbul!"
The reality about Syrian conflict
In Syria, there is a revolution against a bloodthirsty dictator leading a regime that is the source of terrorism and which the foreign occupation forces of the country support. On the other side there are the simple Syrian people who wanted freedom and dignity having confronted all sorts of murder and terror.
Assad and ISIS story briefly
Assad helped the foundation of ISIS after the US war in Iraq in 2003 by opening the Syrian borders for the jihadists from all over the world and specifically from Afghanistan. He pushed the mosques in Syria to pump the fighting spirit among young Syrians to go to fight in Iraq against the US presence there. Moreover, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was present in Damascus from 2003 until 2006, under the eyes of the Syrian intelligence services and their support. In 2009, then Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki sent a message to the United Nations talking about the need to stop the Assad regime from supporting ISIS, and that the Assad regime is behind the terrorist bombings in Iraq. The United Nations did not take any action to this warning.
In Syria, after the start of the revolution, Assad regime facilitated the job of ISIS by letting it control the eastern part of the country through the withdrawal of regime forces from many areas without a fight, and leaving large quantities of arms to the terrorists. Assad regime is, also, the biggest financier of the terrorist organization through the purchase of oil from it. On the 8th of March 2015, the EU imposed sanctions on George Haswani, a Syrian businessman, accusing him that he acted as middleman in the oil contracts between Assad regime and ISIS. Based on this, EU added his name to the list of sanctions imposed on the supporters of Bashar Assad.
In conclusion, I wish to send a message to the Western societies which experienced thousands of deaths in the revolutions for freedom against dictatorships in the previous centuries: Do not confuse the Syrian freedom fighters who have been facing for six years the worst dictator of modern times with ISIS and those who follow hidden agendas and have never been on the side of the Syrian people. In fact, those terrorists were the best tool used by Assad regime and its supporters to suppress the freedom-seeking people.
Eva J. Koulouriotis is a Greek political analyst specialized in the Middle East. Twitter: @evacool_f, Facebook: @evakoulouriotis