While the media (and a lot of politicians) are attempting to paint a picture of the Syrian civil war as being about rebels desiring freedom from the tyrant Assad, the actual picture is much different. Anyone who’s been paying attention should not be surprised by this—it’s been the case with most conflicts over the last sixty years.
There are essentially two sides in the Syrian conflict, and they encompass a wide variety of groups and supporters. On one side there is the Assad government, Hezbollah, Iranian agents and various pro-government militias. On the other, you find the Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham, Jund al Sham, the Free Syria Army, and reported backers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
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