Syria — The Real Picture

By: Stephen Lendman

A war of words accompanies conflict on the ground. On August 14, Reuters headlined “Assad’s rule disintegrating, ex PM says after defecting,” saying:

Former prime minister Riad Hijab claims Assad “controls less than a third of Syria and his power is crumbling.”

Hijab has no credibility. He was bribed to defect. In June, he was appointed prime minister after May parliamentary elections. Other defectors were also bought off to leave.

Former Gaddafi officials were enlisted the same way. Doing so creates the false impression of internal dissension. It suggests regimes are disintegrating. Claims bears no relation to reality.

Assad controls most parts of Syria. Insurgents were routed from Damascus and Aleppo. They shift from some locations to others. Unknown numbers have been killed, injured or captured.

On August 14, Maan News headlined “Libyan fighters join Syrian revolt against Assad,” saying:

Elements involved in ousting Gaddafi arrived in Syria. Hussam Najjar heads one unit. He said “he was surprised to find how poorly armed and disorganized” they are. He was “shocked,” he said.

Later more powerful weapons were supplied. Disorganization remains serious. Insurgents are “scattered here, there and everywhere.” They’re no match for superior Syrian forces.

On August 14, SANA state media headlined “Authorities Arrest Dozens of Terrorists in Aleppo, Destroy 7 Cars Equipped with DShK Machineguns,” saying:

Insurgents were captured in Aleppo’s al-Bab area. Others were killed or injured in other parts of Aleppo. In Daraa, terrorists assassinated Ma’moun al-al-Zoubi. He served as city Assistant Director of the Health Directorate.

Civil servants and other state employees are vulnerable. So are journalists reporting accurately on the ground. They’re targeted to silence them. SANA state media is repeatedly hacked.

Washington and allies only want their own message disseminated. It reflects imperialism’s ugly face. Accurate full disclosure is suppressed. Truth defeats their agenda.

On August 14, Russia Today reported that Russian Foreign Ministry Deputy Director Maria Zakharova condemned “terrorist attacks against journalists.”

They’re working to “ensure the democratic rights of people to receive objective information, freedom of speech and opinion,” she said.

She called on international and regional journalist organizations to follow Russia’s lead. “We are operating on the assumption that the appropriate international and regional organizations, together with those countries that have influence on the armed opposition, cannot ignore what is happening,” she added.

“All media personnel should receive equal treatment; arbitrariness and double standards are unacceptable on this issue.”

UN observer mission head General Babacar Gaye also condemned violence against journalists. So did Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. He said Tehran is committed to peaceful solutions.

He added that a US/Zionist conspiracy wants regime change in Syria for their own self-interest. He condemned their destructive, destabilizing agenda.

What's Next in Syria?

On August 13, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers adopted a resolution suspending Syria’s membership. At issue is further isolating Damascus. Fifty-seven states comprise OIC. Member states include regional despotic ones.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, the new Libya, Yemen, and other rogue states remain members in good standing.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said:

“By suspending membership, this does not mean that you are moving toward resolving an issue. This means that you are erasing the issue. We want to really resolve the issue.”

Salehi added that Tehran firmly stands against foreign interference of any kind, including safe zones and no-fly zones. Implementing them violates international law. So does Washington for waging proxy war to replace an independent government with a pro-Western puppet one.

Last November, Arab League states voted to suspend Syria. They also comprise a rogue’s gallery of despotic monarchies. They support Western imperialism. They condoned Libya’s ravaging. They ignored mass killing and destruction.

They’re silent on how Washington destroys, colonizes, occupies and plunders one nation after another. They commit atrocities against their own people. They support Western-backed anti-Assad insurgents. They’re criminally involved in a plan to destroy another independent state. They’re mindless that one day they may be next.

On August 14, a senior Assad aide arrived in Beijing for talks. He’ll meet with Chinese officials. Both countries maintain normal relations. China want peaceful conflict resolution. Assad likely seeks more support. It’s in China’s interest to provide it.

Also on August 14, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs/Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos arrived in Damascus for talks with Syrian officials and others.

OCHA director John Ging accused Assad of blocking visas for aid workers representing certain countries. At issue is whether their mission is spying and subversion, not aid.

UN agencies side with Washington and Western interests. Amos is Britain’s former High Commissioner to Australia. She also served as House of Lords leader and Lord President of the Council. In 2003, she was appointed to serve in Tony Blair’s cabinet. She represents imperial interests, not Syrians.

On August 14, Hurriyet daily contributor Semih Idiz headlined “Turks watch as their country moves into unchartered territory,” saying:

Allying with Washington against a neighboring Islamic state “is new for Ankara.” Previously, Turkey had close ties to Damascus. Western nations disapproved.

“Prime Minister Erdoğan and his Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, are seen now by Islamists to be bedding with what they consider as ‘the devil’s instrument on earth,’ namely America, in an effort to try and topple a regime in an Islamic country.”

Both leaders may be staking their careers on it. So far, it cost them popular support. Some believe it also harms “Turkey dearly and at all levels.” Concerns are raised about possible Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria and greater Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) power.

Erdogan firmly opposes what he considers threatening. He may react militarily if it emerges. Ankara made it bed and now has to sleep in it. It may end up more loser than winner.

On August 14, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Syrian rebels armed with first T-62 tanks,” saying:

Twenty Russian-made T-62s arrived from Libya. DF said Hillary Clinton authorized transferring them. Obama officials allegedly first agreed to supply FIM-92 anti-air Stinger missiles.

On August 12, insurgents claim they shot down a Syrian jet fighter. Damascus denied it. Asked about it at Monday’s State Department press briefing, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said she had no knowledge of what happened.

DF claims Ankara plans safe zones from five to 25 km inside Syria to its border. If true, full-scale war may follow.

DF rhetoric was more fanciful that realistic saying heavy weapons and safe zone protection “threaten to turn the tide of war against” Assad.

“Unless he decides to cut and run, the danger is greater than ever before of his turning to unconventional weapons to save his regime.”

Earlier, DF falsely hyped a Syrian chemical weapons threat. So did Western media. They went hyperbolic over Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi saying Syria would use them against external aggression. He ruled out using them internally. His comments were maliciously distorted.

DF now falsely claims Israel faces a potential Syrian chemical and biological weapons threat. Netanyahu is preparing just in case. Haaretz contribute Reuven Pedatzur correctly calls him a “dangerous prime minister.” He threatens Jews like others in the region.

Perhaps he plans war against Syria and Iran. Separating bark from bite won’t be known unless or until he acts. Leaders risking catastrophic consequences pose regional threats. Israel and Washington menace humanity.

About the author: Stephen Lendman writes on topics of international importance such as war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions and other socio-economic and political issues. He is also the author of ‘How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War’ and the co-author (along with J. J. Asongu) of ‘The Iraq Quagmire: The Price of Imperial Arrogance’. A former marketing research analyst, Lendman also hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour (on the Progressive Radio Network, Thursdays at 10:00 AM & Saturdays/Sundays at noon, US Central Time), that features cutting-edge interviews with distinguished guests. Click here to visit his blog. 

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