More Syrian refugees fled to Europe because of Assad, rather than ISIS - BSCC survey

Orient Net - Independent 2016-02-09 11:32:00

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The majority of Syrians who have fled to Europe think that Assad is a greater threat than than ISIS, a survey shows.

The survey, conducted by researchers from the Berlin Social Science Center (BSCC), asked 889 Syrian refugees living in Germany various questions, such as why they left Syria, what it would take for them to return, and what the international community should do. It is reportedly the first survey of Syrian refugees in Europe. Multiple answers were allowed for most questions.

Here is what the study found:

The survey shows that most refugees left Syria because of the war and contrary to many newspaper headlines; most Syrians entering Europe are refugees fleeing war, rather than migrants looking for better economic conditions.

The survey also shows that nearly all Syrians want to return to Syria in the future, only eight per cent said they wanted to stay in Europe.

Opposite to pro-regime and far right propaganda, more Syrians said they fled because of Assad than ISIS. The Syrian Network for Human Rights has recently said that Syrian regime is responsible for more civilian deaths than ISIS.

Of those asked, 86 per cent said they feared arrest or kidnap by regime police or thugs. The survey shows that more Syrians feared kidnap or arrest by Assad’s forces than Isis and most Syrians said Assad would have to leave Syria for them to return. The majority of Syrians, 52 per cent of the refugees say say they will not go back while Assad is still in power.

The survey shows that stopping barrel bombs would help more stay in Syria.

The majority of Syrians said a no-fly zone would allow more people to stay in the country. Less than a quarter said more international aid would help people stay. The vast majority said they feared Assad’s barrel bombs, improvised metal barrels packed with explosives and scrap metal, which Amnesty International has said are responsible for large numbers of civilian deaths.

The survey shows that the  majority of Syrians say Assad’s military response to peaceful demonstrations in 2011 is the leading cause of the conflict today.