Syria and Iran are long-time allies, due to many shared interests: both resent the US’ influence in the Middle East; support the Palestinian cause; and shared a common enemy in former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Moreover, though the majority of the Syrian population is Sunni, its regime is led by Alawites, who come from a branch of Shiism; Iran’s rulers as well as the majority of its population are Shiites.
Despite all this, some Iranian citizens are taking to social networks to poke fun at what they see as Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s imminent downfall, while others stand by their ally.
Here are a few examples...
The caption of the photo below reads: “Assad is heading to the same place as Saddam Hussein. Soon, this photo will be broadcast on Syrian TV!”
Right: A photograph of Saddam Hussein taken after his capture. Left: Assad's face Photoshopped into the same photo.
The status below reads: “All the people on Earth are waiting for a declaration of war by a winner of the Nobel peace prize.”
This joke, which has been shared widely in Western countries, is also getting traction in Iran. Like Iran, Russia is an ally of Syria, but President Vladimir Putin has stayed silent as the United States mulls military action against Syria.
This following image depicts Sayyida Zeinab’s shrine, located in Damascus, which is one of the world’s most holy sites for Shiites. Sunni jihadists in Syria have vowed to destroy the shrine, which was already damaged in fighting this past spring. Iranians are sharing this image on social networks and calling for people to go to Syria and protect the site.