Syria regime cuts support to pro-Assad propaganda outlets as economic crisis bites

Syria regime cuts support to pro-Assad propaganda outlets as economic crisis bites
Bashar al-Assad has cancelled funding for pro-regime media outlets and journalists because of the country's economic crisis, sources said.
2 min read
21 May, 2019
Regime-held areas have been experiencing a severe fuel crisis [Getty]]

The Syrian regime has cut support to pro-Assad media outlets and journalists, officials sources said this week.

A severe economic downturn has taken hold of regime-held areas in Syria in recent months, with an extreme fuel shortage even popularising the use of horse-led carriages in the capital Damascus.

The crisis is so bad that it has led President Bashar al-Assad to cancel financial support to pro-regime journalism, Zaman al-Wasl reported this week.

Financial support for pro-regime media outlets and personalities from the Arab Advertising Organisation, an affiliate of the Syrian information ministry, Shaaban Aboud said.

Aboud, a Washington-based journalist for Syria TV, said Luna Alshebel, the presidency's director of media and communications, had ordered the cessation of funds.

But it was not only the economic crisis that led to the decision, Aboud said.

The regime also feels that pro-regime journalists and outlets had served their purpose and "won" them the war.

While supporting such outlets was necessary in the beginning of the war following harsh international criticism of government attrocities, the regime now believes that the pro-regime narrative has won the media battle, he said.

"The regime is now aware that the issue goes beyond them and that the real support comes from the allied countries like Russia and Iran," Aboud explained.

Despite the cut-off of monetary support, the reporter says pro-regime journalists will not change their political positions.

"They will continue to bet on the regime and on the possibility of overcoming the crisis and the return of support again. Some may think it is a temporary phase," he said.