Supporters of the Assad regime have expressed unprecedented outrage on social media websites over keeping Fahd Freij in his position as Defense Minister in the new government.
Regime loyalists have called for Freij to be brought to trial following the Islamic State (IS) massacres of regime forces at the Shaaer oil field and in Raqqa province.
Regime security members forced loyalists to cancel a protest they threatened to stage last Tuesday. The families of pro-regime militants killed in battles have expressed outrage at the Assad regime’s sacrifice of their sons to protect his throne, even calling Freij the “Minister of Death” and demanding those responsible be held accountable. A campaign was launched on Facebook to denounce the Assad regime for ignoring demands to relieve Freij of office.
Nasr al-Hariri, the Secretary General of the Syrian National Coalition, said that IS’s takeover of the Tabqa airbase in eastern Syrian comes within the context of a series "systematic handovers" of its positions in eastern Syria to IS by the Assad regime.
“The Assad regime is seeking through this tactic to win the sympathy of the international community and to give the impression that it is a target for terrorism," Hariri said.
"Moreover, Assad’s sacrificing of 650 soldiers who were left to die at the airbase, while sending helicopters to evacuate some officers clearly shows that Assad’s sole concern is not the safety of his soldiers but the survival of his regime. It also proves that Assad is ready to sacrifice his own soldiers in return for achieving political ends,” he said.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer