Chanting, “The people want the fall of the regime” and other slogans calling for the toppling of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, hundreds of demonstrators marched in Suweida June 7. This is an area in Syria where most people backed Assad and didn’t join the popular 2011 uprising for political rights, nor fight against his forces in the country’s subsequent civil war.
The action was the second straight day of protests, led primarily by area youth.
Protesters called for Moscow and Tehran to get their forces out of Syria. The Russian and Iranian rulers sent warplanes, weaponry and troops to battle those who rose up to challenge Assad’s rule, helping shore up his regime. Their intervention was decisive in the government recapturing most of the country west of the Euphrates River. It also advanced Moscow and Tehran’s military and political influence in the region.
In recent weeks working people have born the brunt of the regime’s growing economic crisis, marked by shortages of fuel and other basic necessities, along with rampant inflation. This crisis is also deepening divisions within Assad’s ruling family.
Protests in solidarity with demonstrators in Suweida were held in Deraa, the birthplace of the 2011 rebellion, which is now back under Assad’s control.
Assad’s tyranny is based on capitalist families mainly from Syria’s Alawites, a Muslim minority in the country. It has defended their interests against working people from the country’s Sunni majority and oppressed Kurdish nationality. Suweida is home to most of Syria’s Druze minority, whose leaders had allied with Assad.