Voltaire Network

The GCC and Turkey turn to NATO

The Security Council met Friday night at the request of the Arab League to examine the conclusions to be drawn from the observer mission report. However, the text of the report not having been distributed by the League, the session focused on a draft resolution tabled by Morocco, but written by the Europeans. It was turned down by Russia.

Saturday, the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council met in Istanbul with their Turkish counterpart to weigh the possible diplomatic recognition of the Syrian National Council to be followed by an Arab and Turkish military intervention. Sunday evening, the Secretary General of Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, arrived in Brussels to meet with his NATO counterpart, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The Syrian army continued its operations to liberate the cities still in the hands of the Wahhabi Legion.

The Arab League secretary-general decided on his own initiative to freeze the observer mission (recently renewed for one month by the League’s ad hoc Committee of Ministers with the agreement of Syria). Nabil Al-Arabi took the view that the observers were at risk after the spiritual leader of the Syrian Salafists, Sheikh Adnan Al-Arouri, announced over the Al-Arabiya airwaves that it was lawful to kill the Arab observers.

The Western and Gulf press turns a blind eye to the Arab League’s failure to submit the observers’ report to the Security Council, to the preparations for an Arab-Turkish war, and to Sheikh Adnan Al-Arouri’s assassination call. It peddles Russia’s stance at the Security Council as an anti-American posture in the context of Vladimir Putin’s electoral campaign. It characterizes the freezing of the observer mission as a protection measure not vis-à-vis the Salafists, but the against the loyalist troops. Most importantly, it spotlights the massacre that took place at Homs on Thursday, which it previously omitted to report on. Relying on a fanciful testimony, it attributes the massacre to loyalist forces when it occurred in an area controlled by rebels. The foremost objective of the Western communication services is to color the conflict as a struggle between a state and its child population. To reinforce this image, some articles are illustrated with photos of children protesting and wielding weapons.


• In the columns of Le Monde, photojournalist Mani reports on the testimony given by a resident of Homs. He alleges to have been under the impression that a massacre was in progress on Ansar al-Street and "decided to reach the house under attack by drilling holes in the walls of adjoining houses. Through those openings, he claims to have seen children being massacred. He added that the attackers were seven men in military uniforms belonging to loyalist forces "(sic).

• The Cairo correspondent of Le Monde, Claire Talon, describes the Egyptian capital as the new sanctuary of the Syrian opposition. She cites four personalities: Mahmoud Hamad (who stated on Al-Jazeera to have personally witnessed the Syrian Air Force bombarding Damascus), actress Louise Abdelkrim (who evoked her sleepless nights in Damascus filled with the screeches from the loud speakers chanting the Presidens’t name), Imad Ghalioun (the cousin of the SNC president), Helen Al-Dayem (who put at 50 000 the number of Syrians recently killed by the regime).

Le Figaro columnist Girard warns against a reversal of Bashar al-Assad, which could bring about an Iraqi-like situation. The Syrians have nothing to gain from a regime change, he says, because anarchy would be worse than dictatorship.

• Gudrun Harrer, who must be oblivious to the human rights situation in Qatar, expounds in Der Standard (Austria) that the Arab League has become an actively progressive organization under the enlightened influence of the Emir of Qatar.

• The Orthodox Patriarch of Syria, Ignacio IV said in ABC (Spain) that Christians stand behind Bashar al-Assad not because they fear the Salafists, but their project. Christians accept to live among Muslims and believe that Assad is the best president of the region.

• This weekend, former Observer Anwar Malek was interviewed by the Spanish press, which is just as disinterested about his background and personality as its Western counterparts.

• The reporter for the Financial Times Europe, Michael Peel, noted that there were only a few dozen anti-government demonstrators in Aleppo, but that the economy was severely affected: power cuts and fuel shortages.

Washington Post journalist Colum Lynch perceives the Russian veto as a "putinisation" of Russian foreign policy. The author overlooks Moscow’s arguments to which he attaches no importance, but dwells instead on what he considers to be Putin’s strategy to increase his influence.

• The Daily Star (Lebanon) notes that the number of Syrian refugees registered with the United Nations in Lebanon has now reached 6 290. However, the newspaper fails to point out that many of these people have lived in Lebanon for a long time and have registered as "refugees" to receive material aid. In the same article, the newspaper reports that Sheikh Zakaria Masri staged a demonstration in Tripoli (northern Lebanon) against Russia, China and Hezbollah, during which he denounced Assad for believing in and seeking to impose atheism.

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