US Intelligence: Assad Controls Only 10% of Syria's Population
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Bashar al-Assad controls only 10% of the total population of Syria, accusing Iran of continuing to expand its influence in the region through "The Quds Force" in Iraq and through Hezbollah in Syria.
He attributed Assad’s survival in power to the economic support he receives, and to the fact that he is still surrounded by his religious minority whose interest lies preserving the status quo because they benefit from it.
US officials said that the United Nations estimates that the Iranian regime spends $35 billion USD a year to keep Assad at the head of his regime in Syria, pointing out that this money is used to finance military operations, arms and ammunition, and to pay salaries of its militias that are fighting alongside regime forces. (Source: Syrian Coalition)