The popular myth spread after 2011 was that Syrian President Hafez al Assad had ‘massacred’ tens of thousands of civilians at Hama in 1982. This historical myth was used to buttress the similar myth of the “peaceful protesters” who shot police and civilians at Daraa in March 2011. In fact the 1982 Hama incident involved the Syrian Army putting down a vicious and bloody Muslim Brotherhood insurrection, which had stretched over three years. Independent evidence, not least from a contemporaneous US intelligence report (May 1982) note the intense battle and put the casualties at Hama much lower, with a focus on the sectarian massacres of the MB ‘jihadists’. Patrick Seale’s 1988 biography of Hafez al Assad gives more detail of the insurrection. The US had covertly backed the insurrection (armed by the Saudis, Jordan and Saddam Hussein) but, at the end, concluded: “the Syrians are pragmatists who do not want a Muslim Brothernood government”. Indeed. Read the full DIA report here:

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