How and why did a hawkish young mandarin hothoused at elite universities and in the halls of state power end up an executive at an anarchic messageboard site with an anti-establishment reputation?
Despite the Western reaction, Assad, in power since 2000, looks set to govern for seven more years. His major task will be attempting to break armed opposition groups in Idlib and to repair a nation destroyed by 10 years of war and crippling sanctions.
Amidst a decade-long war that has devastated the country, Syrians went to the polls last week in an election that gave another seven-year term to current leader Bashar al-Assad. With a turnout of over 78%, Assad achieved an overwhelming victory against his nearest opponent, Mahmoud Ahmad Marei. Supporters of the president took to the streets in