Small Wars Journal

Comeback for Assad as Regime Murders Mount in Syrian Civil War

Comeback for Assad as Regime Murders Mount in Syrian Civil War by Hannah Lucinda Smith and Richard Spencer - The Times

For the first time in eight years, a Christmas tree towers over Abbasiyyin Square in Damascus. Three miles away, in the presidential palace, President Assad has much cause for festive cheer.

 

His war against Syria’s rebels is all but won. In the past year, his army, with its Russian and Iranian backers, have driven the opposition from its last strongholds around the Syrian capital, ending the rocket and mortar attacks that had frequently hit the square.

And after years of being largely confined with his family within reinforced residences, Assad is beginning to re-emerge on to an international stage…

 

Tens of thousands, many said by families to be ordinary people caught up in mass round-ups, disappeared without a trace. The sudden release of delayed death certificates was highlighted by the case of Niraz Saied, a photographer of Palestinian origin from the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus. His picture of a young man playing a piano in the wreckage of the camp, after it was besieged by regime forces, became one of the most well known of the war…

Read on.