Once on the edge of defeat, Syria's Assad runs again for president

When Assad is re elected by his people, what will be the next Israeli Cabal game play?

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Venezuelan state television TeleSUR in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on September 26, 2013.    Credit: Reuters/SANA/Handout via Reuters

By Samia Nakhoul
1 June 2014

It was not so long ago that Bashar al-Assad’s enemies thought he was finished.

In the summer of 2012, the rebels were not just at the gates of Damascus, but inside the capital, preying on Assad’s harried forces.

His government had lost big chunks of Syria’s territory and a string of strategic towns, and a small number of loyal and tested army units were rotating around the country in an exhausting attempt to hold back rebel advances on many fronts.

Not any longer.

Now, even as the United States seeks to increase aid and training to moderate rebels to fight Assad's forces, U.S. officials privately concede Assad isn’t going anywhere soon.

Buoyed by a sequence of victories over the past year, won in large part through Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanese paramilitary proxy, Assad will be elected president this week for a third seven-year term, symbolically contested by selected opponents playing walk-on roles to pad out the main drama.

The old Syria - at its core a security state run by the Assad clan, their Alawite allies and selected partners from other minorities and the Sunni majority - is reasserting itself.

Assad himself, who had almost dropped out of sight and, on the rare occasions he did appear in public, looked troubled and strained, has re-emerged looking relaxed, confident and smart as he gets out and about, campaigning with his wife, Asma.

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