Now. from BuzzFeed News we have this report which reads like an update on Assad's strategy and its effects:
Assad's New Strategy:
Nothing Makes People Flee Like Murdering Their Children
26 July 2013
The UN recently reported that the number of Syrian refugees has topped 1.8 million in what they are calling the worst humanitarian crisis since Rwanda, the worst refugee crisis in 20 years. What has gotten a lot less coverage are the brutal methods Assad is using to force so many people from their homes and their country.
He is using artillery, missiles and aircraft to make certain areas of the country unlivable and he is wantonly slaughtering civilians. He is specifically targeting children, even attacking play grounds, because he knows nothing makes the people give up the fight and flee like killing their children. Assad might say he gets more "buck for the bang" by targeting children.
The Syrian conflict is also unique in all of history in that the worst torture techniques are regularly used even on pre-teen children. In many ways, Assad's strategy directly involves attacking children my the government. In his war, they aren't collateral damage; they are targets.
From roof of famous Khalid Bin Al Walid mosque in Homs | 24 July 2013More...
This refugee crisis cannot be solved without "regime change" in Syria for two simple reasons: 1) Syrians will keep leaving as long as Assad is raining barrel-bombs down on them, and 2) The Syrians that have left will refuse to return so long as Assad is in power.
Assad’s Strategy Is To Create Refugees
18 September 2015
Mike Giglio & Munzer al-Awad
ISTANBUL — The 53-year-old father of two was convinced that Bashar al-Assad wanted him to flee Syria.
More than two years after he buried the bodies from a massacre in his village near Damascus by forces loyal to the Syrian president, he sat in an Istanbul park alongside dozens of other refugees, waiting with their life jackets to make the journey to Europe by sea.
“They want to empty the country,” he said, sitting with his wife and two children as he described how government soldiers had bombed the village of Jdeidet al-Fadel and then executed residents in their homes, suspecting them of rebel sympathies. Some, he said, were “beheaded like chickens.” After helping with the burials, he snuck his family into Turkey.
The refugee crisis isn’t just a by-product of the brutal civil war in Syria, according to many of those fleeing, as well as Western officials and analysts tracking the conflict. It’s part of a concerted effort by the Syrian government, which has killed the vast majority of civilians in a war that has left more than 200,000 people dead.
Assad has lost control over more than three-quarters of the country, and targeting civilians in those areas has been part of his strategy from the start of the four-year-old civil war. His forces work to make opposition-held areas unlivable for rebels and civilians alike — a tactic guaranteed to create masses of refugees. “The rationale behind [the government’s military] strategies is to leave no other choice to the populations: Either you come back to us and recognize our authority, or you will die,” said Pierre Desbareau, the emergency coordinator for Syria at Doctors Without Borders. “In many besieged zones, you really can see the level of brutality rising year after year. So, at the end there is no choice for the population in opposition areas. They have to leave the country.” More...