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Syria: the lies being told

The fighting in Syria has dominated the news this summer.

Elizabeth Kendal

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. (This was before al-Qaeda and other international Salafi jihadists started flooding in, making the crisis worse.) As an advocate of regime change, Qatar was embarrassed by the results and so buried them. When eventually leaked, the results revealed that 55% of Syrians supported President Assad and 68% of Syrians disapproved of 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.