Assad is not a conventional jihadist or even, as an Alawite, a conventional Muslim; however, for various reasons today he has to make clear where his sympathies lie. From Haaretz, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Syrian President Bashar Assad earlier this month gave Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives in Damascus a green light to carry out terror attacks and escalate fighting against Israel, Israel Radio said Wednesday, quoting a high-level Palestinian Authority intelligence dispatch, which was reportedly passed on to Egypt and Israel.
Deputy Defense Minister Ze’ev Boim said Wednesday that Israel was aquainted with the dispatch.
Boim, referring to U.S. and international pressure on Syria over events in Iraq and the alleged involvement of Damascus in the assassination of investigation of alleged Syrian involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri, told the radio:
“Assad in Damascus is very pressured, in a state of distress, and as a result, he is trying apparently to step us his support [of Hamas and Jihad attacks] in order to lift pressure from other fronts,” Boim said.