Twenty-nine (29) existential threats to the country of Syria were identified by prime actors. In the chart below, the left column ranks the threats from the most important to solve (the Assad Regime/Civil War) to the least (chemical weapons).
The threat of a hostile Russia is important because of Russia's power, willingness to disrupt Syria, and its half-century of support for the Ba'ath Party and the Assad Regime.
25 prime actors participated in the following:
- Determining the importance of a hostile Russia relative to other threats to the country. As shown in the chart below, the threat of a hostile Russia ranked 13th most important.
In response to questions about the seriousness of the threat of the threat of a hostile Russia—
Round 3 participants stated (Nov. 2016 - Jul. 2017):
“Syria did not start the conflict. In general people came up against the regime peacefully. The government countered with bullets. It transformed from peaceful to armed. The whole country became a victim. Even the regime has no say. Outside forces, Russia and Iran, are in control of all the killing. The opposition leaders are ready to put down their arms and return to civilian life. The government brought in ISIL. The government is standing by watching.” (222172)
“On the news it said the United States and Russia was bombing them. It later became apparent it was Assad and Russia.” (233531)
“[There are many acts of perpetration:] the killing, displacement, arrests, Sednaya prison, Russian invasion, refusal of humanitarian assistance, ISIL, other extremist groups. There is one clear perpetrator, and many lesser ones. The level of brutality between ISIL and the government is the same, but the scale is greater for the government.” (235781)
Round 1 and 2 participants stated (Jan. 2016 - Oct. 2017):
"The support Russia and even the United States give to certain [fighting] groups, and the disagreements among [the groups contributes to the war.]” (228631)
"The only thing that can threaten a country is another country. Even terrorists are controlled by countries. ISIL's threat to Syria is nothing compared to Russia's. This doesn't mean ISIL is not a threat. 95% of the [Russian] bombing is directed to civilians, not terrorists. Only the Free Syrian Army is standing up for the people, because they fight on all fronts, against the government, terrorists, and outside countries." (222172)