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The Boston Globe

World

Syria tailors propaganda for Western nations

DAMASCUS — As Islamists increasingly fill the ranks of Syrian rebels, President Bashar Assad is waging an energized campaign to persuade the United States that it is on the wrong side of the civil war. Some government supporters and officials believe they are already coaxing — or at least frightening — the West into holding back stronger support for the opposition.

Confident they can sell their message to the West, government officials have eased their reluctance to allow foreign reporters into Syria, paraded prisoners they described as extremist fighters captured on the battlefield and relied unofficially on a Syrian-American businessman to help tap into US fears of groups like Al Qaeda.

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