Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Syria .. In the Eye of the Storm - Part III

By Nidal Hmede

Translated by: Eslam al-Rihani

Lots of Syrian opposition parties inside and outside the country – rely on a western military interference against Syria, similar to what is happening now in Libya and previously in Iraq.

Farid el-Ghaderi (left), Abdul-Halim Khaddam (right)

That stance had been officially delivered to France, the US, and the UK, in a form of wishes by groups belonging to “Farid el-Ghaderi” and the “Damascus Declaration Abroad.”

The here above words were quoted from a French academic source.

That stance - demanding foreign interference – intersects with an old Saudi desire to interfere militarily against Syria; it had been repeatedly delivered by Saudi officials to western and French parties.

According to the French academic, “it seems that the stance was not rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, as Abdul-Halim Khaddam (former Syrian VP) reiterated in his communications with the players whom he knows in the west, and which have resurfaced after a period of isolation and frustration.”

However, that desire collides with a difficult reality for the West, especially in the Syrian case which is different from other Arab cases for several reasons:

A– The independence of the Syrian regime from the United States, with which it entered in direct and indirect conflicts over the past years in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine; contrary to the regimes of ousted presidents “Hosni Mubarak” of Egypt and “Zein El Abidine Ben Ali” of Tunisia, and Yemeni President “Ali Abdullah Saleh.”

B- The notorious western military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, emergence of the signs of faltering in Libya despite the weakness of the Libyan case compared with Syria, and the West’s unwillingness to get involved in a new conflict; a conflict with unguaranteed results.

C- The presence of Syria within a regional alliance that had achieved great victories in the ongoing conflict since the American invasion of Iraq.

D- The US need for Syria in Iraq, and the American unwillingness to face another chaos in the vicinity of the already exhausted U.S. military in Iraq.
E- The possibility that Syria would redirect the conflict towards a war against Israel, in case it sensed threat of interference by the NATO, which will give Damascus a large popular support in both the Arab and Muslim worlds.

F- The inevitable Russian and Chinese objection in the Security Council, because of the radical difference between the Syrian and Libyan situations in terms of importance to Russia.

G- The Turkish position which is fears chaos in Syria, given the common ethnic and sectarian composition between both countries.
Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan (left),
Syrian President - Bashar al-Assad (right)
In this sense, a radical change in Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan\'s attitude can be noticed, especially after the Syrian President\'s chancellor Bothayna Shaaban was quoted as saying that “Syria had been targeted on sectarian grounds.” However, after Turkey’s position was to closely monitor events in Syria, it evolved into support to Damascus. It was here where the impact of the Kurdish, Alawi and Sunni factors, along with their overlaps in both countries had emerged.

As for the possibility of military interference, Girard Bapt – Socialist Party MP and the head of Syrian-French Friendship Committee in the French Parliament - stressed in a phone call with Al-Manar Website that “there won\'t be any Western military interference against Syria.”

"The current situation is not serious. Western military interferences are looking for easy spots in the Arab world and black Africa. The year 2012 will witness the presidential elections in the US, France and Spain. All three countries are participating in the NATO military interference in Libya. Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy have benefited from the opinion polls on the war against Libya, which veterans and experts in military and political affairs agree that it is an easy war in this country that has little if no support in the Arab world, yet the operation is financially, politically and militarily impeded. If Qatar and the UAE didn\'t pledge to pay the full costs of the war, we wouldn\'t have seen NATO planes bombing Gaddafi\'s forces."

On the other hand, Alan Qorvis - the former colonel in the French army and the former military adviser to the French prime ministry - told Al-Manar Website that the situation in Syria is difficult and complicated.

"The regime in Damascus has retreated, made pledges, and is promising more," a French source said, adding that the persistence of the Syrian opposition\'s neo-conservatives in their imported Saudi intransigence, will only lead to a Syrian bloodshed in a battle of sabotage in the most important Middle-Eastern country.

"It\'s a losing battle in all standards," the source concluded.

Parts 1 and 2 here

In case you missed it: "The Syrian regime must change, or it will be changed" by Khalid Amayreh 

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