- The 24th of September, the young men in the suburbs of Damascus surrender with their arms and taking the benefit of an amnesty
By Ghaleb Kandil
Popular transformation and the direction of the Syrian events
The winds of the ongoing transformations in Syria have reached the structure of the coordination committees formed in many Syrian regions at the beginning of the events, in order to organize the demonstrations and in some cases support the armed rebellion. In reality, these coordination committees constituted the main nerve on the field, through which turmoil was activated on the Syrian domestic arena.
Firstly, according to confirmed information, many coordination committees in the majority of the Syrian areas have started to adopt positions calling for the relinquishing of the weapons. Moreover, some of them are even trying to manage direct dialogue with the Syrian state and negotiate with it over guarantees that could be offered to those who relinquish their arms in the various towns, villages and neighborhoods. Consequently, numerous operations took place, in which the arms were surrendered and the status of the armed men was arranged, under the supervision of the coordination committees in Rif Damascus, Edlib, Rif Hama, Homs and Aleppo. This reveals that a major transformation actually took place at the level of the Syrian scene, and that the signs of the return from the climate of escalation, tension and turmoil are emerging and clearly point to the direction of the upcoming events.
Secondly, while attempting to understand the backdrop of this transformation, one should point to the state of tiredness and exhaustion suffered by the ordinary Syrian citizens, in light of events which blocked the economic wheel in numerous regions, affected properties, claimed lives and spread a state of comprehensive anarchy due to the control of the bandits and armed terrorist gangs that have undermined social and security stability wherever they are present, and practiced oppression and tyranny against the population. All of these elements paved the way before a serious turn at the level of the popular positions which were at first sympathetic with the rebellion and are now clashing with it, following the exposure of numerous facts. Hence, the people are now clearly expressing their wish to see the state re-imposing its full control, in the hope of regaining the missing stability.
Thirdly, in addition to this bloc that has returned to the state’s lap, mobilization and tensions are prevailing over the majority of the Syrians who adopted a position supporting the state, the army and President Bashar al-Assad’s reformatory program. This solid bloc which represents a majority at the level of the country’s social fabric extends beyond religions and regions and includes all the Syrian components, without any exception. Moreover, the developments have enhanced its confidence in its choice, at a time when it has started to adapt to the special and difficult circumstances resulting from the troubled security situation. It is worth mentioning at this level that during the last few days, Damascus’ streets were extremely busy, and this had not been seen throughout the last year and a half. At the same time, the sounds of some bombs were being heard, as the Syrian Arab army was proceeding with its attacks against the remaining terrorist pits in the capital’s Rif, without this affecting life inside the city or provoking concerns among the citizens who enjoyed safety and security in the presence and deployment of the army and who hoped that this situation will prevail once again all over Syria.
Fourthly, the overall Syrian popular mood points to real awareness vis-à-vis the nature and goals of the colonial Western attacks, and it is very clear that the ordinary citizens have learned about numerous facts related to the opposition movements domestically and abroad, as well as to the terrorist gangs, death squads and the Western projects to divide Syria and destroy its strength. This would explain the failure of all the Western wagers on weakening popular support in favor of the state through economic pressures and sanctions. Hence, these attempts did not succeed, while on the other hand, the Syrians are taking pride in the fact that they relied on themselves throughout these incidents. Observers note at this level how more than two million people who left to leave their homes in the tense areas chose to resort to other locations inside the country instead of fleeing outside the border.
Moreover, according to quasi-official information, the refugees are increasingly returning from the neighboring countries, namely from Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, after the Syrian Arab forces were able to reinstate security and stability in more than one region and in light of the suffering endured by those who fled abroad and who were turned into bargaining cards in the hands of the implicated government and the Syrian groups partaking in the Western-Gulf-Turkish plan.
Syria’s popular scene is signaling the reality of the direction of the events, and the imminent victory of the Syrian national state over the colonial plan despite the anticipation of a long war with individual terrorism and multinational Takfiri groups that were dispatched to Syria, along with large quantities of weapons and funds. Despite that, the state’s re-imposition of its control and its reinstatement of national stability does not seem to be a far-fetched goal in light of the ongoing transformations on the Syrian street.
By Nasser Kandil
The kidnapping of oppositionists
On the eve of the opposition conference in Damascus upon an invitation from the coordination committee, a number of committee members arrived at the Damascus Airport and were kidnapped on their way back.
What is certain is that since the beginning of the preparations to hold the conference, the political decision of the Syrian state was to encourage the participants in it to hold it in Damascus without the mediation of those whose guarantee was requested, as it was announced by Mr. Hassan Abdul Azim.
Had the Syrian state carried any negative position, it would have announced that whoever had a judicial file should be subjected to the law. But it did quite the opposite and informed the mediator with its apparatuses from the coordination committee that it had no prior conditions over the staging of the conference.
The state is honest about its wish to encourage a political solution and perceives the conference as being one of the forms of encouragement, regardless of the way it reads into the position and stand of the coordination committee.
But the armed gangs had set up ambushes to carry out kidnappings and killings on that same road itself several times before.
The prevention of the conference and holding the state responsible for the kidnapping of the oppositionists who had come to participate in it was the mission of the groups of sabotage, while the Istanbul Council’s accusations of betrayal to these participants have always been proclaimed.
The state is serious about pursuing this case, and if it turns out that loyalist groups were indeed behind those kidnappings, it will not allow them to sabotage the peaceful course with their extremism.
Soon, the clouds will dissipate and everything will become clear.
Syria assured in two identical letters addressed by the Foreign Ministry to both the head of the Security Council and the secretary general of the United Nations, providing them with numerous information that became available to it in regard to the actual sides standing behind what is happening in Syria, whether in terms of the terrorist acts seen in the explosions witnessed in several cities, or in terms of the destruction of the public and private property of the Syrian people at the hands of armed groups. The Ministry added that the Turkish government did not settle for hosting the anti-Syrian organizations that came from Arab countries among others, but also provided them with funds and weapons and opened camps to receive and train the terrorists. It indicated that an opposition member in the Turkish parliament said in regard the refugees whom the Turkish authorities are claiming to host in camps established even before the beginning of the events in Syria: They are ultra-religious fighters. What can guarantee that these fighters will not – one day – fight against Turkey? The Ministry then concluded its letters by stating: The ongoing silence towards these crimes in the context of the immoral alliances between Turkey, some influential states at the Security Council and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Libya which is dispatching arms shipments to Syria’s neighboring states and funding terrorism and the massacres of the terrorists against the Syrian people, constitutes support of terrorism and the fueling of hatred, killings and terrorism. It thus warned these regional and international sides against the continuation of these activities, as they could one day backfire on them.
For his part, Syria’s envoy to the human rights council that is affiliated with the United Nations, Faisal al-Hamawi, assured that the international investigation commission’s report on Syria lacked accuracy and objectivity and disregarded numerous facts, namely the talk about the role played by some international and regional sides in fueling the crisis in Syria, through media instigation and the provision of funds, weapons and training to the mercenaries and the Al-Qaeda elements, before introducing them in Syria.
Al-Hamawi continued that the prolongation of the crisis in Syria – which is the goal of the United States and its tools in the region – the ongoing provision of funds and weapons to the terrorist groups and the training of Takfiri mercenaries being brought in from Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya among others, will not help these sides and will backfire on them because they will reap the fruits of their actions. Moreover, these mercenaries are time bombs which will later on explode in the countries supporting them, once they fulfill their mission in Syria.
In the meantime, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Iran and Turkey held a special meeting to tackle the Syrian crisis at the headquarters of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi thus proposed to his counterparts that Tehran hosts the upcoming meeting, indicating that observers from the four states could “supervise an operation aiming at putting an end to the violence in Syria.” The proposal also featured a solution suggesting the concomitant proclamation of a ceasefire between both sides, the confirmation of the necessity to seek a peaceful solution “far away from any foreign intervention,” the discontinuation of the flow of financial and military support to the armed groups, the launching of dialogue between the Syrian regime and the opposition, and the formation of a national reconciliation committee that would include all the sides.
For his part, the Egyptian foreign minister assured: “If the situation continues to deteriorate, Syria will not be the only to pay the price, rather the entire region.”
In Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and the delegation accompanying him, and President Al-Assad was able to learn from Salehi about the results of his last visit to Cairo. He assured that Syria showed openness in dealing with all the initiatives that were put forth to seek a solution to the crisis, stressing that the key to the success of any initiative resided in the existence of honest intentions to help Syria and build these initiative on sound foundations, at the head of which being the respect of Syrian sovereignty, the free decision of the Syrian people and the rejection of foreign interference. President Al-Assad added: “The current battle targets the entire resistance system, and not just Syria.”
The protests over the offensive film
The protests continued against the offensive film produced in the United States continued in a number of countries around the Arab and Islamic world, leading to the fall of a number of dead and wounded in the protesters’ ranks during clashes with the police.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah appeared in a crowded demonstration in the Southern Suburb of Beirut, to condemn the offense against Prophet Muhammad. He thus called for the boycotting of the websites insisting on carrying the offensive clips, assuring that America should understand that the broadcasting of the film in full will have dangerous and extremely serious repercussions. He also called for the deployment of pressures to get the Security Council to issue an international resolution and national laws throughout the world, incriminating offenses against religions and prophets.
On Friday, the demonstrations and protests were staged throughout the Arab and Islamic world in response to the offensive film and the cartoons published by a French magazine and featuring offenses against Prophet Muhammad. For its part, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry decided to prohibit the organization of any demonstrations, in order to prevent the possible perpetration of “acts of violence and sabotage.”
On Wednesday, and in a preemptive measure before the Islamic Friday of Wrath, France announced the closing of its embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in 20 countries around the world. Moreover, security around the French embassies and consulates in these states was enhanced. The same measures were also adopted by the United States.
The American Department of Defense announced the dispatch of a Marines force of 50 soldiers to Yemen to protect the American embassy in Sana’a. At this level, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qorbi assured that new troops affiliated with the U.S. Marines were present at the Sheraton Hotel in Sana’a which overlooks the embassy, in order to protect the American embassy against any threats which might be posed by the Al-Qaeda organization in Yemen.
For its part, the Yemeni parliament categorically rejected any foreign military presence in the country, thus calling for the departure of the Marines force which arrived to Yemen and confirming the Yemeni government’s role in protecting the embassies and the lives of the ambassadors and the diplomats. At this level, various Yemeni political and social circles expressed their strong rejection of the American military presence in Yemen, as well as their rejection of the espionage operations being carried out by American unmanned drones.
The main issues tackled by the Israeli papers issued this week were the attempts being carried out by officials in the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to alleviate the tensions between Tel Aviv and Washington. They thus said that Head of the National Security Council Yaakov Amidror was conducting a visit to the United States, in an attempt to reach understandings with the White House and pave the way before a meeting between the two leaders.
On the other hand, the papers spoke about Israel’s opposition of the staging of a conference for nuclear disarmament in the Middle East. Hence, although Israel does not publically speak about its nuclear program, its representative at the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Israel’s strict opposition of the staging of the nuclear disarmament conference.
Moreover, the papers tackled the surprising military maneuver carried out by the army in the occupied Syrian Golan, in order to test the readiness and preparations of a number of military units considered to be front-rank units.
The papers also tackled the determination of senior officials in the government to anticipate the elections’ date, so that they are held between January and March, but also Israel’s refusal to allow the journalists to see the documents of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. They also mentioned that the Jewish lobby in the United States announced its support to American President Barack Obama in his electoral campaign against Republican candidate Mitt Romney, despite the statements of the latter who strongly supported Israel.
Upon the end of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI and his departure from Lebanon last Sunday, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called for a series of demonstrations that were launched on Monday in the Southern Suburb of Beirut, before moving to Nabatiyeh, Bint Jbeil, Hermel and other cities, in protest against the film featuring offenses against the Prophet. He also called on the Arab League to adopt a position at this level, along with the Muslim communities in the United States, adding in a speech he delivered: “What happened these last few days should confirm the Muslims’ and Christians’ awareness and their insistence on coexistence. They should also direct their anger against the real enemy. Let no one try to lead us towards strife. This is our responsibility, all of us.”
In this context, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, as the head of the Arab Foreign Ministers Council, called Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi and asked him to make the necessary contacts to hold an urgent Arab foreign ministers meeting at the League’s headquarters in Cairo in order to discuss the issue of the offensive film.
On the other hand, President of the Republic Michel Suleiman distributed a defense strategy proposal, as he headed the dialogue session which lasted two and a half hours and was held in the Presidential Palace in the absence of Sa’d al-Hariri, Samir Geagea, Suleiman Franjieh and Talal Arslan. Its discussion was postponed until the next session on November 12.
New Orient News