source. asia times on line.
In a speech on June 20, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad identified three components of the unrest in his country: citizens with legitimate grievances and needs that must be addressed; criminal elements; and “radicals” seeking to destabilize the country. He accused external forces, outlaws, and radicals of exploiting the “movement seeking legitimate reforms”.
Since February 2011, Syria has witnessed a series of demonstrations and protests demanding the ouster of Assad and his family and an end to the rule of the Ba’ath party. The protesters insist on the peaceful nature of their political movement, but in order to justify its violent reaction against them the Syrian regime claims it is confronting “Takfiri-Salafi armedgroups” and “outlaw gangsters”.
When Bashar’s father Hafiz Assad (1930-2000) clashed with the Muslim Brotherhood during his four-decade rule, he applied similar descriptions for his opponents. In a speech aired on Damascus Radio on June 30, 1979, the late Syrian president said: