Syrian MFWIC Bashar al-Assad wants Syrian refugees to come home. The civil war is winding down, after all, and soon everything will be jake.
But obstacles the regime is throwing up to their return show that President Bashar al-Assad—mindful of the strain refugees are putting on neighboring countries—is willing to use the exiles as bargaining chips to secure foreign aid and sanctions relief, Western diplomats and analysts in Beirut say.
Al Assad still doesn’t see his own people (I’m using “his own” loosely) as human beings. To him, they’re not human at all, just chits to be cashed in for dollars and euros.