Sunday, June 25, 2017

Assad Leaves Enclave for Hama

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

President Bashar Assad of Syria has been ensconced in his capital stronghold for years.
Assad seldom leaves his palace. Since 2011 when the civil conflict erupted, the Syrian dictator has wisely remained in the most secure and safe haven he has to avoid assassination.

But today Assad ventured to Hama, a large city in South West of Syria.
Hama was host to some of the largest protests against Assad at the beginning of conflict that has embroiled Syria for the past 6 years.

The Syrian president ventured to Hama for the final prayers of Ramadan and the beginning of the three day festival of Eid al Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan.

This is a telling and important move.

The choice of Hama, above all other Syrian cities, illustrates that Assad feels he is in control of the symbol of the revolt. The decision to leave his enclave means that Bashar Assad believes that the tide of the conflict has shifted enough for him to be safe in the focal point of the rebellion against him.

This may indeed be the beginning of the end of the conflict and the return of Assad to the undisputed leader of Syria. 

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