Bashar Al Assad Wedding

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After the fall of four military bases in September 2014,[89] which were the last government footholds in the Raqqa Governorate, Assad received significant criticism from his Alawite base of support. [90] This included remarks made by Douraid al-Assad, cousin of Bashar al-Assad, demanding the resignation of the Syrian Defence Minister, Fahd Jassem al-Freij, following the massacre by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant of hundreds of government troops captured after the ISIL victory at Tabqa Airbase. [91] This was shortly followed by Alawite protests in Homs demanding the resignation of the governor,[92] and the dismissal of Assad's cousin Hafez Makhlouf from his security position leading to his subsequent exile to Belarus. [93] Growing resentment towards Assad among Alawites was fuelled by the disproportionate number of soldiers killed in fighting hailing from Alawite areas,[94] a sense that the Assad regime has abandoned them,[95] as well as the failing economic situation. [96] Figures close to Assad began voicing concerns regarding the likelihood of its survival, with one saying in late 2014; "I don't see the current situation as sustainable . . . I think Damascus will collapse at some point. "[89]