The regime, from the very start, used accusations of extremism and sectarianism, and accusations that the revolution was the Sunni majority rising up, and that religious minorities should be afraid, that this was a community that was going to rise up and try to create an Islamic state, and it would be harmful and dangerous for religious minorities. That was the kind of rhetoric it used from the beginning, in a dirty attempt to support and bolster its own rule.
Middle East Scholar Wendy Pearlman discusses her work interviewing Syrian war refugees, and examines the many facets of the conflict - as an Arab Spring uprising against Assad's political repression and economic privatization, a civil war pulling in international forces and splinter groups, and finally as a sprawling humanitarian crisis the world is watching unfold.
Wendy is author of the new book We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria from Harper Collins.
Interview transcript via Antidote Zine