Assad is not pretending. We in the west tend to forget that the insurgency started his conflict and is responsible for most death. You can not just blame one party. I am not saying that Assad's army are bunch of angels, but they are not just killing people for the sake of killing them.
U.S. to deliver 8 advanced F-16s to Egypt on July 30-31, U.S. embassy in Cairo says (Reuters)
from the article: Syria's Assad says war is the only way to crush terrorism