World
Boris Dolgov
December 26, 2011
© Photo: Public domain

The situation in Syria is definitely getting worse. In November 2011 about 20 soldiers of Syrian army were killed in an ambush by anti government armed groups. Six more servicemen died, some of them air force pilots, when Free Syrian Army militants attacked the Syrian Air Force Intelligence headquarters. The Euronews channel showed the “Army” militants posing in front of TV cameras with rifles in their hands putting forward demands the international community establish a “no fly” zone the way it had done in Libya before. Their commander explained with the zone enforced they would “get the necessary air cover and be able to free Syria”. December 8 and December 12 there were explosions at Syrian oil refineries, December 23 two the most large scale terrorist attacks since the Syrian crisis started (March 2011) took place – suicide bombers in vehicles packed with explosives targeted bases of state security and regional branch of the General Security Directorate in the Damascus suburbs. The death toll was 44 and about 150 injured. All victims were peaceful citizens just happened to be there. 

The scale and level of coordination of the terrorist acts give ground to say they were subversive operations well planned and controlled from abroad. Al Kaida, Fatah Al Islam (the Victory of Islam), Jund Al-Islam (the Soldiers of Islam), A Talia al-Mukatila (Fighting Vanguard) military wing of Muslim Brotherhood, all these organizations have teams of militants operating in the Syrian territory besides criminals. The total number is 2-4 thousand. They get arms through Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. 

 The sources say a team of Libyan militants headed by Abdelhakim Belhadj entered the Syrian territory. Belhadj was one of Libyan insurgent leaders and Tripoli superintendent after the Gaddafi’s regime fell. At the beginning of the 2000s he was “national emir” of the terrorist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

No matter all these facts the Syrian opposition abroad including the most well known “Syrian National Council” residing in Turkey and calling for the regime’s overthrow, still maintain there is a “peaceful people’s revolution against the Assad’s regime” going on in Syria” and “terrorist acts and attacks against the military are all provocations committed by the regime’s special services”. At the same time there is a patriotic organization in Syria ready for dialogue with the government. Qadri Jamil, professor of economics, leader of the Front for Change and Liberation, the most popular branch of this wing of organizations, calls for deep social, economic and political reforms. He thinks the first step in this direction should be establishment of a national unity government. 

At that Navy Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, fully supports the Syrian opposition abroad slogans. In the December 12 report she stated that mass violations of human rights and tough suppression of citizens peaceful demonstrations takes place, as a result over five thousand people were dead, including 300 children. The report puts forward demands to condemn the Syrian leadership, calls for imposition of sanctions and active reaction of the world community to the events in Syria. The High Commissioner is supported by European parliament calling for “decisive actions” against Syria. At that nothing is said about 1500 servicemen and large numbers of civilians killed by militant terrorists. 

The leading NATO members use the UN, the European parliament and a large number of world media outlets as a cover to do everything possible to pull through the UN Security Council a resolution condemning Syria with “the Libyan experience” in mind. That’s the case when Russia’ and China’s vetoes would save Syria from NATO air strikes (for the time being). 

The role of anti Syrian forces abroad is worth of special attention. The West and Israel overtly strive to change the Syrian regime and its policy. Sunni Turkey vies with Shiite Iran for leadership in the region. Syria has a long term relationship with Iran, including confessional affinity (the major part of Syrian leadership are the Alawi, one the Shiite branches). And Syria becoming weaker meets fully the Ankara’s interests. Turkey also has territorial claims to Syria. The Persian Gulf monarchies confront the Shiite Iran and see it as a potential threat since the 1979 Islamic revolution. So they adopt more or less the same stance. The Lebanon’s right wing parties, mainly the March 14 Alliance headed by Saad Hariri, blame Syria for complicity in the killing of prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 (father of Saad Hariri). They don’t want Syrian influence in Lebanon. To the contrary the alliance of Lebanon’s parties and movements, who confronted the Israeli aggression in the south of the country in 2006, the Hezbollah first of all, do support the Syrian leadership, which landed them a real helping hand those days. 

Jordan should also be mentioned here. Tens of thousands of Syrian immigrants stay in the country. Part of them suffered from the Assad regime and their attitude is hostile. There is still tension between Syria and Washington oriented Jordan (as some sources say 4 thousand US troops withdrawn from Iraq in December 2011 were transferred to Jordan and deployed along the Syrian border). 

As it goes Russia’s influence grows in the Middle East. The statements by S. Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and V. Churkin, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, saying Syrian leadership condemnation is inadmissible and the Russian proposed draft resolution on Syria put forward could contribute to the prevention of foreign intervention into this country.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
Syria: situation going for worse

The situation in Syria is definitely getting worse. In November 2011 about 20 soldiers of Syrian army were killed in an ambush by anti government armed groups. Six more servicemen died, some of them air force pilots, when Free Syrian Army militants attacked the Syrian Air Force Intelligence headquarters. The Euronews channel showed the “Army” militants posing in front of TV cameras with rifles in their hands putting forward demands the international community establish a “no fly” zone the way it had done in Libya before. Their commander explained with the zone enforced they would “get the necessary air cover and be able to free Syria”. December 8 and December 12 there were explosions at Syrian oil refineries, December 23 two the most large scale terrorist attacks since the Syrian crisis started (March 2011) took place – suicide bombers in vehicles packed with explosives targeted bases of state security and regional branch of the General Security Directorate in the Damascus suburbs. The death toll was 44 and about 150 injured. All victims were peaceful citizens just happened to be there. 

The scale and level of coordination of the terrorist acts give ground to say they were subversive operations well planned and controlled from abroad. Al Kaida, Fatah Al Islam (the Victory of Islam), Jund Al-Islam (the Soldiers of Islam), A Talia al-Mukatila (Fighting Vanguard) military wing of Muslim Brotherhood, all these organizations have teams of militants operating in the Syrian territory besides criminals. The total number is 2-4 thousand. They get arms through Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. 

 The sources say a team of Libyan militants headed by Abdelhakim Belhadj entered the Syrian territory. Belhadj was one of Libyan insurgent leaders and Tripoli superintendent after the Gaddafi’s regime fell. At the beginning of the 2000s he was “national emir” of the terrorist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

No matter all these facts the Syrian opposition abroad including the most well known “Syrian National Council” residing in Turkey and calling for the regime’s overthrow, still maintain there is a “peaceful people’s revolution against the Assad’s regime” going on in Syria” and “terrorist acts and attacks against the military are all provocations committed by the regime’s special services”. At the same time there is a patriotic organization in Syria ready for dialogue with the government. Qadri Jamil, professor of economics, leader of the Front for Change and Liberation, the most popular branch of this wing of organizations, calls for deep social, economic and political reforms. He thinks the first step in this direction should be establishment of a national unity government. 

At that Navy Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, fully supports the Syrian opposition abroad slogans. In the December 12 report she stated that mass violations of human rights and tough suppression of citizens peaceful demonstrations takes place, as a result over five thousand people were dead, including 300 children. The report puts forward demands to condemn the Syrian leadership, calls for imposition of sanctions and active reaction of the world community to the events in Syria. The High Commissioner is supported by European parliament calling for “decisive actions” against Syria. At that nothing is said about 1500 servicemen and large numbers of civilians killed by militant terrorists. 

The leading NATO members use the UN, the European parliament and a large number of world media outlets as a cover to do everything possible to pull through the UN Security Council a resolution condemning Syria with “the Libyan experience” in mind. That’s the case when Russia’ and China’s vetoes would save Syria from NATO air strikes (for the time being). 

The role of anti Syrian forces abroad is worth of special attention. The West and Israel overtly strive to change the Syrian regime and its policy. Sunni Turkey vies with Shiite Iran for leadership in the region. Syria has a long term relationship with Iran, including confessional affinity (the major part of Syrian leadership are the Alawi, one the Shiite branches). And Syria becoming weaker meets fully the Ankara’s interests. Turkey also has territorial claims to Syria. The Persian Gulf monarchies confront the Shiite Iran and see it as a potential threat since the 1979 Islamic revolution. So they adopt more or less the same stance. The Lebanon’s right wing parties, mainly the March 14 Alliance headed by Saad Hariri, blame Syria for complicity in the killing of prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 (father of Saad Hariri). They don’t want Syrian influence in Lebanon. To the contrary the alliance of Lebanon’s parties and movements, who confronted the Israeli aggression in the south of the country in 2006, the Hezbollah first of all, do support the Syrian leadership, which landed them a real helping hand those days. 

Jordan should also be mentioned here. Tens of thousands of Syrian immigrants stay in the country. Part of them suffered from the Assad regime and their attitude is hostile. There is still tension between Syria and Washington oriented Jordan (as some sources say 4 thousand US troops withdrawn from Iraq in December 2011 were transferred to Jordan and deployed along the Syrian border). 

As it goes Russia’s influence grows in the Middle East. The statements by S. Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs and V. Churkin, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, saying Syrian leadership condemnation is inadmissible and the Russian proposed draft resolution on Syria put forward could contribute to the prevention of foreign intervention into this country.