I'm used to Syria's president being routinely demonised by the msm ('dictator'/'tyrant'), and seeing his government referred to pejoratively as a 'regime' (another indication that the war in Syria is actually a regime-change war against Syria), but this is the first time I've read something like this:
"In the end, cats and dogs were feeding on shredded human flesh in the streets. But when the siege first closed in, life in Raqqa went on much as before. There were niggling court cases over property rights; Islamic State had its own bureaucracy. There were the public executions, and there were multi-million-dollar business deals with the Syrian regime... Abu Mahmoud, 50, an estate agent before the war, is one of those men who can see profit in a crisis. He was putting together a contract for Islamic State to sell $US5 million worth of concrete oil pipelines to the regime. Sadly for him, the deal finally collapsed when the caliphate's capital was surrounded. (Dogs ate the dead as noose tightened on ISIS stronghold, Richard Spencer, The Times, 21/10/17/ The Australian, 24/10/17)
Richard Spencer is a Middle East correspondent for Murdoch's The Times. To get some idea where he's coming from, see his 30/8/17 piece, Will the West confront the power of Hezbollah: While we have focused on defeating Isis in the Middle East, an old foe has grown even stronger.