Skip to main content

How Lucky Is Syria’s President?

Bashar al-Assad knows that despite a brutal war, his allies have his back and his opposition is fractured — and also that the end of his regime does not mean the end of the war in Syria.
A portrait of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is affixed on a door in old Damascus, September 8, 2013. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri  (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST) - RTX13D2N

Bashar al-Assad may be the luckiest man in the Middle East, and maybe in the world. The defiant Syrian president has been under fierce popular, military, regional and global pressure to step down, his country is almost destroyed, more than one hundred thousand of his people have been killed and thousands of his soldiers splintered. Yet he is seriously considering running in the 2014 presidential election. 

Assad is neither detached from reality nor delusional. The man knows well that he's backed by a solid front that he can bet on. Assad's front is ready to do whatever appropriate to keep him in power, providing money, arms, political backing and fighters.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.