Please mod parent up..
I was born and raised in Syria, and lived there most of my life. Like parent, I'm tired of hearing misinformtion about Syria.
Assad couldn't be any farther from being called Islamist. Not sure where GP got his information from. Assad regime is a secular repressive dictatorship.
To portray the war in Syria as mostly religion motivated is a big distortion of the complex multidimensional situation. Many people who stood against the Assad regime are secular. Many of them ended up being in prison or even killed by that regime. I myself am an atheist and I'm against that regime. I do have a lot of muslim, christian, and athiest friends there who are equally opposed to that regime, and are calling for a secular democracy.
Did the Islamist groups manage to get all the attention in the media? I think so. However, talking about the islamists as if there were all that exists there is a big distortion that only empowers the Assad and ISIL, while marginalizing the role of the moderate and secular groups that are calling for a secular democracy.