The war in Syria appears to be increasingly remote-controlled from abroad. Almost all states in the region seem to be involved to varying degrees, with Qatar providing the lion’s share of the funds going to the Free Syrian Army. However, the investment has generated disappointing returns. To avoid its funds from going up in smoke, Qatar has decided to dole them out on the basis of the actions carried out. As a result, the ASL began staging its most spectacular and deadly attacks to the detriment of its real military objectives.
The “Arab Spring” instigated by Qatar and its allies in Syria is slowly but surely beginning to subside, and the real people behind the terrible spectacle known as the “Syrian Revolution” are being mercilessly and cynically exposed.
High-ranking officials in Qatar who wished to remain anonymous told Arabic news agencies that the Qatar monarchy was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Syrian rebels and the Syrian opposition. Widespread instances of bribery and the dissipation of funds by rebel leaders, who are “spending more and more of their time in hotels in Turkey, Europe, countries in the Gulf and Egypt” instead of performing combat missions, are responsible for this change in attitude towards those behind the Syrian revolution.
Both newly-organised and veteran Syrian opposition coalitions have long preferred to keep the billions of dollars provided by the Qatar monarchy for the battle against the Syrian government in their own personal bank accounts in the USA and other countries. After receiving enormous sums of money, meanwhile, several leaders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have disappeared for good, virtually breaking all ties with the revolution. For this reason, donors in Qatar decided several months ago that they would only finance specific military operations in Syria, which in turn led to an increase in the number of ostentatious, and therefore weak, attacks.
These attacks did not secure any military victories for the Syrian opposition, but they meant that money could carry on being siphoned off from Qatar and ensured much-needed publicity in the media. And while the leaders were enjoying the high life, rank-and-file rebels were getting less than 200 dollars a month. The leaders’ conniving lust for money was perfected to such an extent that Qatar was soon being provided with lists of non-existent rebels claiming salaries. This money was then also pushed firmly down into the pockets of high-ranking officials.
In addition, some of the actions of mercenaries towards the local population have already caused serious dissatisfaction and led to conflicts not only with the citizens themselves, but also fighters from the FSA who, as native Syrians, find the behaviour of the mercenaries completely unacceptable, especially those operating under the auspices of al-Qaeda. In terms of mental health, the atrocities are reaching an inexplicable level: the Arabic media are reporting eyewitness accounts of how mercenaries are forcing parents to hand over their young sons and daughters to creatures who have lost all trace of humanity.
They are forcing the parents by threatening them with their lives. The Lebanese news and analysis site Al Safir has reported that Muhammad Abd Al-Rahman Al-Arifi, a Saudi Wahhabi “cleric”, has already expressed his approval of similar actions by mercenaries and not only against Syrians, but each other as well. At the end of the article, it said: “In truth, the end of the world has begun”. Just the other day, a family of seven was shot in Aleppo after being subjected to abuse by these same mercenaries. To begin with, the victims were forced to strip off in freezing cold torrential rain and they were then assaulted. This was reported to the Lebanese press by a woman who had not wanted to give her name. The family had been trying to get away from the combat zone when they were stopped by armed rebels. Also recently, rebels fired shots at a peaceful demonstration organised by the residents of one of the neighbourhoods in Aleppo as a sign of protest demanding that the city be cleansed of terrorists.
Both foreign mercenaries and local rebels are suffering sizeable losses on a daily basis, which is making them deal with the current situation inadequately and lose control of themselves. Occasionally, they are even starting to shoot each other when sensing treachery or links with the Syrian security services. In fact, five were executed recently. It is worthy of note that soldiers from the Syrian army often find weapons of Israeli manufacture lying next to murdered rebels. The Arab media recently wrote about the involvement of two Israeli citizens in military operations in Syria. The Israelis found their way into Syria from Turkey, but when they wanted to go back to Israel, it turned out that the rebels had burned their passports, which they justified by saying that once you had sided with the rebels, there was no going back. According to the same publication, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs had commented on the event, explaining that they had already been in contact with Turkey in order to clarify the citizens’ exact coordinates, while at the same time pointing to the probable involvement of both Israelis, who are of Arabic descent, in the faction of Sheikh Raed Salah, who had collaborated with them and enlisted Israeli Arabs wanting to take part in the fight against the Syrian president. From what was said, it is possible to extract at least one fact with some confidence: Israel itself has acknowledged that its citizens are fighting in Syria against the Syrian regime. The rest of the statement, concerning the identity of the rebels, so far remains speculation on the part of the Israelis.
Against the generally troubled background of the civil and military opposition in Syria, the words of the head of the Syrian General Staff that the plot against Syria has failed due to the courage of Syrian soldiers and the support of the population are gaining credibility. At the same time, political life in Syria itself has not come to a standstill and certain political and public figures in Syria recently announced the creation of the “National Movement to Save Syria”, one of whose main objectives is to oppose any external interference in the internal affairs of Syria. Members of the movement support the idea of the unity of the Syrian state and urge Syrians to open up a national dialogue and denounce the actions of various fanatical groups. According to one of the movement’s members, they are intending to prove that there is a link between a newly-organised project in Qatar for a Syrian opposition coalition and al-Qaeda, which is dreaming of turning Syria into a second Afghanistan and destroying the Syrian people. As far as Turkey’s role in the Syrian war is concerned, those who set up the movement are convinced that Turkey miscalculated when hoping that Assad would be ousted quickly and the triumph of Erdogan’s power in Syria would be like Libya and Egypt.
In contrast to the Syrian authorities, people and army, who act as a unit, Syrian opposition is completely at variance. Which is why it is not only collapsing from the outside yet again, but also corroding from within, eaten away at by worms of corruption, greed and amorality. In demonstrating its ugliness from without and within, the so-called “Syrian opposition” is probably doing the Syrian people the biggest favour possible: now they know exactly who it is worth following.
There is a power struggle currently taking place within the armed groups in Syria, everything they do is geared towards frightening each other and the Syrian people, and it is the same with the civil opposition. The constructive steps of the Syrian government have not found the support of their own side and have long shown their true intentions regarding Syria’s future. Such a picture could create the illusory impression that power in the country is not going to be passed to anybody specific after Assad has gone. However, it is far easier to govern a decentralised country, which is why the issue of the transfer of power is probably irrelevant.
Terrorists will become the real power after Assad has gone – whether it is political or military does not even matter any more. Internal opposition, which virtually accused the Syrian coalition of having links with al-Qaeda, does not have the foreign policy resources necessary to govern a country, the rulers of countries in the Gulf and their allies would simply pay them no regard. The difference between the FSA and foreign mercenaries is being emphasised in order to justify a foreign invasion and “cleaning-up operations” to rid Syria of terrorists who are “threatening” neighbouring countries. Which is always the way in such cases.
The war in Syria has much wider geographical and metaphysical borders, it is multi-layered. As well as destroying the Syrians physically, it is also delivering fatal blows to their beliefs and values. Step by step, as in the cases of Iraq and Libya, the traditional contours of Islam and Arabic self-identity are gradually being eroded away, all traces of their heroes’ past achievements are being wiped clean, spiritual groups are forbidding people to think, since all of their thoughts are occupied with survival and the struggle for a piece of bread. Moral and spiritual deformity is standing in for age-old traditions and principles. These kinds of people do not have a future, since their past and present has already been warped beyond recognition. Is that not the true meaning of the “Arab Spring”? Does Assad really matter?