Oh the irony.
Assad is seen as a dictator by many, pretty much the same as every other country’s leadership in the Region, even though the West court some but not others, in order to suit their US Corporate led inept agendas.
However, he has always looked after the minorities, Kurds, Christians etc, although always skeptical of the Kurds and not willing to give them their autonomous region.
Hence why the Kurds as a total last resort can trust him to back them now.
The West came in 8 years ago when there appeared to be an opposition to Assad along with the lust of Regime change…a US trait certainly of the last 20 years mostly “fueled” by corporate greed…excuse the pun.
They begin to support the Syrian democratic forces, otherwise known in my book as terrorists. The fighting leaves a vacuum for ISIS to arrive along with other extreme elements, to form their own autonomous region…at least for a while.
US foreign policy has been a dismal failure in the Region of today’s Greater Middle East. It has really had no end game at all, when we look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Actually no middle game either in many respects. Russia and Iran however, two proxies way savvier than those in the West and Saudi Arabia, play the long game, neither rushed by political timetables back home. Knowing that if they continue to support Assad, they’ll still be there when the US policy wears thin due to the many $$$$$$$ that it’s losing daily, the need to win support for election day, and the lack of a real plan or commitment at any stage.
Yes, Britain and France have a lot to answer for in the Region from years gone by. Especially with the Sykes Picot Declaration of drawing the lines in the sand for their own gains, without even understanding the needs of the very tribes that are on that sand.
However, as I said 8 years ago now, if it was all about honesty and integrity, headed up by the leadership of the free world, then US foreign policy, mainly with Western backing, should have been to also back Assad in putting the lid back onto his fractious country. There would have been no ISIS, and tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands wouldn’t be killed and millions displaced..and still counting. But then, the last thing it’s all about is honesty and integrity.
Oh the irony!