At a press conference yesterday where group of Jewish elected officials lambasted congressional candidate and City Councilman Charles Barron for his criticism of Israel and for backing dictators Robert Mugabe and Muammar Qaddafi, Assemblyman Dov Hikind speculated that Barron supports the leadership in Syria too. "I can only imagine what he thinks of (Bashar) Assad of Syria, who has murdered 12,000 of his own people," Hikind said. "He probably thinks Assad is a great hero. He probably thinks Assad is a civil rights leader." Asked after a candidate town hall meeting last night to comment on the recent violence in Syria, Barron started to answer but then cut himself off, saying that he was more concerned about Africa ? and that he would not be distracted from more pressing local issues like foreclosure, unemployment and crime. "Look at Sudan, look at Congo, look at those places where more people are dying than they're dying in Syria," Barron said. "But you want me to talk about Syria because it's a hot-button issue and you want to see if I'm going to be for a dictator or something."