Spinning terror line since last March tohelp justify state violence
In the war of the "narratives"
fashioned a version that emphasised opposition violence even as government
troops and thugs were shooting without restraint at mostly unarmed protestors. Damascus
Assad's enemies did gradually take up arms, but the majority were defectors or those who joined the Free Syrian Army as a self-defence force.
Assad needs terrorist enemies allegedly supported by foreign powers like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and Turkey because they suit the sense of legitimacy and secular Arab nationalism he wishes to project – and help justify state repression.
"This fits neatly with the regime's attempt to ensure the loyalty of urban Sunnis and minorities fearful of Islamist rule by portraying all opposition as radical, violent and foreign-inspired," commented Emile Hokayem of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.