Syrian President Bashar Assad is currently trying to have full control over the Daraa province, which was once held by his opposition during the Syrian civil war. This has been highly controversial, since it could be an attempt to harshly rule over the country without limits or repercussions to his integrity. Assad has been considered responsible for several civilian deaths in Syria during the seven-year civil war, as well as the displacement of over a dozen million families from their homes. He was also criticized for his ruthless policing methods and constant harassment towards his own population.
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has been quick to respond to his intentions, arguing that his control over Daraa would cause for even more violence and targeting of civilians, even if there isn’t a war attached to it. Head of media and communications from the brotherhood Omar Mushaweh has stated to Fox News:
The tolerance of the United States and Israel with the crimes committed by Bashar al-Assad will not contribute to stability in the region. The revolution of the Syrian people aims to end oppression and gain freedom. What is happening in Syria is a violation of the values of freedom and human rights that America preaches around the world. The American administration should not remain silent in the face of the crimes committed by the regime.”
While he acknowledged that countries like the U.S. and Israel have taken efforts against Assad’s mentality and projects, Mushaweh stated that there is not a direct and explicit campaign to take the leader outside of the office. He even stated that Assad’s regimen could have easily been overthrown during the early years of their revolution, which would have prevented thousands of casualties from innocent people. He concluded that, due to the lack of external help, the only force that can detain Assad’s abuse is the Syrian people themselves.
His statements are somewhat true, since the Brotherhood has received a much larger amount of attention from the media and the Syrian population after the civil war. Such notoriety moved the organization from a forgotten movement to a controversial active organization who actively seeks to do humanitarian work. A membership to the Brotherhood has been seen as taking part in a terrorist organization, according to several Arab states. In the year 1982, one of the organization’s revolts was openly targeted by the government, which lead to thousands of deaths in the nation. This caused for their momentary disappearance from the Syrian political landscape.
Mushaweh then moved to address President Trump’s possible argument for their organization to be officially declared as a terrorist organization. He stated:
The West describes the Brotherhood group as fundamentalist and religious, and some parties want to put them in the category of terrorism. The fact is that the Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate Islamist movement that accepts political pluralism and receives great harm from terrorist movements. It is an anti-terrorist movement of all kinds, including against the state terrorism by Bashar al-Assad … It is about reforming society and life, that is what people are looking for.”
He also recalled the group’s opposition towards the 2016 Iran deal signed by the Obama administration. Their concerns surrounded the possibility of sanctions being dismissed, giving more opportunities for Assad’s government and his related organizations to increase their measures, giving them more funds and higher access to weapons.
Featured Image via President of Russia