WorldNetDaily's current favorite repressive dictator is Syria's Bashar al-Assad. WND editor Joseph Farah is ramping up the love.
In his Sept. 21 column, Farah asserted that "Obama exaggerated the offenses of the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, led a fight to bomb it, sent arms and funding to Sunni Muslim rebels and then watched as those arms fell into the hands of ISIS – literally launching these demons into a regional threat," adding that "a bulwark against radical Sunni domination in the Middle East and a surprisingly good protector of minority religious groups like Christians and Druze." Farah also claimed that "we need to recognize Syria and Assad are on the front lines of fighting ISIS."
A day later, Farah claimed that "the people Assad was battling in his own country were ruthless killers, thugs and terrorists. In fact, it was ISIS."
Actually, the opposite is true -- Assad is not only not fighting ISIS, he effectively created the group.
Newsweek reports that the Assad regime released many terrorists from its prisons in 2011 at the start of the Syrian civil war, presumably to create a pretense to crack down on dissent. NBC agrees, adding that Assad had released terrorists from his prisons during the Iraq War as a bulwark to prevent U.S. troops in Iraq from advancing into Syria.
The Christian Science Monitor also concurs:
Although sworn enemies on paper, ISIS has largely refrained from fighting the Syrian regime to focus on building an Islamic state in northern Syria and ousting more moderate rebel rivals. In return, the regime has left ISIS alone, allowing the Syrian military to concentrate on fighting the moderate rebel groups. At the same time, Assad also points to the brutal exploits of ISIS and other jihadist groups in the conflict to justify its argument to the international community that it is fighting Islamic “terrorists.”
NBC also points out that Assad has no interest in fighting ISIS because they have performed their expected duty:
The Islamists grew, and for Assad, were increasingly convenient. He could point to the radicals — and parade them on Syrian television — as evidence that the opposition was nothing more than a band of dangerous zealots. Syrian state television never talked about the rebels asking for democracy. It described the government’s war on terrorism. The regime even gave the Islamists a boost.
Assad’s forces bombed the secular Free Syrian Army, killing thousands of civilians in the process, but rarely targeted the Islamists. It allowed the militants — later known as ISIS — to have a safe haven.
But ISIS has grown beyond Assad's control, and unfortunately, according to analysts, U.S. bombing strikes against ISIS ultimately serve to benefit Assad's regime.
Farah's lies about Assad and ISIS are just another reason nobody believes WND.