Is the "fall" President Assad really inevitable? Sami Klaib

Translation by Alex

After 11 months of clashes in Syria, the world is persuaded that the Syrian situation  is more complex than expected Western leaders. The direct military intervention is not posssible, changing the regime by force is not executable, therefore a settlement in the Security Council is needed save all faces and tempt Russians to approve a resolution limited to stop violence and dialogue. But, also, such settlement seem very difficult at the peak of global conflicting interests.

Qatar succeeded in the delivery of the Syrian file  to the Security Council.  Veteran Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al-Thani is aware that he playing “soled” in Syrian crisis, where success is dangerous and failure more dangerous. Sheikh Hamad draged all Arabs after him to the Security Council. The crisis is the internationalization. A few months ago all Arabs in their league asserted that there would be no internationalization. 

Russia also succeeded in becoming the first focus of the Security Council. The West, the Arabs behind it are working hard to satisfy Russia for signing a joint draft resolution. Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev avenged the Western intervention in Russia. His hand is on the Syrian file, while his eye on  the latest US statement expressed “disappointment” over the refusal of Russian authorities to nominate Gregory Yavlinsky for the presidential elections. Putin will remain firm in its position at least to pass elections on 4 March with the least possible losses.

Neither Russia, nor China would accept regime change in Syria by force. The Russian cover for the Syrian military operations is clear. The Syrian military solution was a red line over the past months. Moscow has repeatedly informed the Syrian to wait and maintain a good relation with the Arab league, but things changed the last few days.
What has happened?

سوريا تعيش أكثر أيامها خطورة... هل "سقوط " الرئيس الأسد حتمي فعلاً؟ .. تقرير للزميل سامي كليب

The Syrian regime succeeded in converting the observers “trap” to its interest. The observer’s presence was expected to encourage protests. The observers detected the situation on the ground and found that is much different from the satellite broadcast. According to a diplomat report an integrated plan has been developed to occupy some large arenas in major cities including Damascus by protesters with the presence of observers, so turning squares to something like Tahrir square in Cairo.

Nothing of that was achieved anything, the Syrian regime got recognition from the Observer Group, and especially from its President of the Sudanese officer Mohammad Aldapagh that there is armed groups in urban and rural areas.

The Syrian regime found in the observers what it longs for, got an armed Arab recognition that armed groups exists, on the one hand, and on the other hand a Russian cover for elimination of the militants . In addition to that, all the sectors of the Syrian people including some opposition groups, become concerned about insecurity in their regions, they demanded the army presence.

Geopolitical interests

The Syrian security reading settled that a continuation of the situation stabilized, means allowing expansion of the guerrillas and encourage people to demonstrate more. The gun spreading threatens to break the prestige of the State which was already injured by bombing prominent security and intelligence headquarters in Damascus. 

It is difficult to envisage the Syrian decisive security decision-making without careful coordination with the Russians, and probably with the Iranians. The battle is no longer confined to Syria.
Sequence of events suggests that Moscow and Tehran and Damascus are engaged in a strategic war on Syrian territory where there is no room for failure or undo. So a full deduction is the strategic choice.
Homs and Hama won’t be an exception after the control over Damascus countryside. Russian support is not limited to politic, but there is very careful security coordination and Russian weapons coming to the port of Tartous repeatedly.
No attention has been made by many to the Russian Foreign Minister serious speech before few days. The diplomat said that some Security Council States use the situation in Syria to achieve geopolitical interests and that such acts belong to the last century and reflects the old psychology that must be disposed of. The man indirectly accused the Gulf States, using word which Walid Muallem himself wouldn’t say harsher to describe what’s going on.
Moreover, Sergei Lavrov will say in next Munich Conference on security tough words about the Nato war on Libya. The Russians will never digested the Atlantic trick that started under a humanistic logo against Moamer Kadhafi, and ended in a massive military operation that ousted the Libyan regime and the interests of Russia.
Returning to the Russian statements about Syria and the missile shield and the Western criticism of the elections in Russia, shows that Moscow wants to restore its global role and it is concerned about the future of confrontation with the West over the coming decades. Syrian crisis provides Russia a golden opportunity to confront the western enterprises.


Sergei Chimizov, Director General of the Foundation “Russia technology”, says that Syria is the Russia barometer in the Middle East and Africa. This prominent official stressed the need to “implement all Moscow’s obligations with Syria in the field of military and technical cooperation so that you won’t lose Russia arms market in the Middle East and North Africa.


So, world is before a long-term Russian strategic shifts that would accelerate more with Vladimir Putin’s return to power in upcoming elections. How can Moscow accept losing an important card as Syrian card at this moment?


This clarity of vision Russian contradicts the western ambiguity. A French security official came to Lebanon. His talk revealed the French confusion. France tops list of those working to “drop” President Bashar Al-Assad, but did not know how.


The Syrian army is united and there is no signs of a nearby breakdown. The security forces stands firm behind President Al-Assad.


The Syrian President visitors and most recently the former Minister Wahab felt that Bashar is at the peak of confidence both politically and security wise.
The Syrian people are divided but most Western diplomatic reports confirm that the Syrian President still retains great popularity. The US Embassy in Beirut and other Western diplomats spoke with their recent visitors that the popularity of President Assad still exceeds 55 or 60 percent.

Few days ago, the Guardian newspaper reported that the “Western media coverage of what is happening in Syria ignored the information and  the polls results which contradictis the impression   that the people wanted to overthrow the Syrian President Assad. The Newspaper opinion revealed the pointed poll commissioned by the Qatar Foundation which revealed that 55 percent of the Syrians because of the fear of civil war they do not want Assad to leave.
The French security official who visited Beirut recently asked about the militants in Syria. He said Paris do not know how to remove President Assad and do not know what will happen to Syria if he “fell”. He referred to the blur Turkish position which suggests  Ankara decline. The Syrians know why the Turks retreated its condemnation statements remained. There are matters known only by security  authorites in both countries. The Syrians also know that the Jordanian army killed a young man who attempted to smuggle weapons to Syria. There is a Jordanian security decision not interfere in Syria. As for Iraq, Iraq is more than ever the concidering the Iranian desire to assist Syria economically.

Americans alos are confused. They want “drop” President Assad because they now have no other choice. What can Barack Obama do? In last April he said that President Assad should leave. He repeated the the demand in a joint statement with France, Germany and Britain in mid-August last year.
Nothing happened, Assad still able to descend into the heart of Damascus to speak to his people without wearing protective bullet shield with his wife and children. Every day that passes with President Assad in power is the loss for Obama and Sarkozy ahead of presidential elections in their countries. Can they  leave President Assad in power until elections?

It’s difficult, but how?
No one has an answer. Western sources talk about the great desire to further arming the opposition, and to take the fight to a more accurate stage. Money exists. Gulf paid a lot in the past months. A French -Americanscrisis cell was established in France, having contacts with opposition parties.
It is not acceptable to leave Assad wins the battle. 

Homs determines destiny
Homs will be determined the fate of many things. If the Syrian army took control over the city as it did with Damascus country side it will cut route for the Syrian National Council. This great goal, since Burhan Gallyoun announced his alliance with Riad al-Asaad, the arms and militants has become in favour of Istanbul Council. The Syrian security plan goals are with clear. Every armed rebel is a living dead. Syrian central decision is firm in this context. Now the priority is to eliminate the militants and then return politics.
Russia has not closed the Security Council doors, yet. Most likely they are waiting for what Assad will likely do. Homs may become the barometer, the Syrian army may take it in a great battle, or may leave it in case a settlement in the Security Council. Currently, it is in the interest of Russia to negotiate on behalf of a powerful regime. To their advantage if the Syrian army controls the largest number of regions.
Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin said in the Security Council: “we have found in the Moroccan draft resolution some elements of which had been in our draft and this helps hope.” The Russian diplomat left the door open for settlement. Moscow wants a decision to include 3 goals only as identified by Lavrov, a cessation of violence by all parties, and do not allow an external military intervention, and call for the dialogue and reconciliation.
What would the Russians do if the military solution arrived to Homs doors?
Exactly here they will put a maximum pressure on Western counterparts. They don’t want to a massacre, because it will be a disadvantage, but they may employ it in order to impose their view that the Syrian-Syrian dialogue is needed to save Syria and possibly also to save the faces calling for “dropping” President Assad without the ability to “drop” him.
Few days ago, Lavrov said that “Moscow is not an ally of Assad, Syrians who will decide how to run their country and I do not think that Russian policy is to ask people to resign. Changing regimes is not our job.
This talk will satisfy the West and don’t bother Syria. Russia wants a dialogue, between the authority and the opposition without preconditions. If the dialogue led to forming a national unity Government to oversee the future elections and these elections led to the “departure” President Assad, no problem, is not good, but Moscow persist in refusing resorting to military force or external intervention.
What the opposition says? 

The military solution is not possible because the people are armed. Moscow would “sell and buy” according to its interest. Many assurances are given by Westerns that sanctions imposed on the regime and military pressure on ground and Syria losing of most of its relations with the Arabs and the West would lead to “the fall” of the regime. The opposition assert that the “fall” President Assad is a matter of time, without providing about how it’s going to happen.

Within the opposition there is two opinions:

The first within the “National Council”, controlled by Muslim Brotherhood, calling, upon Western request, to expand its horizon within the “communities and minorities”

The second, reflect the “coordinating body” with Haytham manna at the top. The man was successful so far in holding a lot of threads, without taking a position. Everyone is trying to ingratiate him from Washington to Paris to Moscow. Perhaps, up to date, he is the most acceptable opposition party inside Syria. Moscow want him as interlocutor with the regime, Iran kows him and Damascus is ready to deal with him.

In addition, there is the Kurdish factor, which is very complicated. The Conference held in Erbil, Iraq, under the wings of Massoud Barzani shows that Kurds are calculating with precision every step towards their future. Their concern extends beyond Syria to Turkey, Iraq and Iran. Any wrong step may lead to negative results. They raised the slogan “the right of self-determination within the Syrian unity.” which no opposition party may accept. It’s a warning not only to Syria, but Iran and Turkey

Breakthrough or Breakdown?

Translation to be continued

سوريا تعيش أكثر أيامها خطورة… هل “سقوط ” الرئيس الأسد حتمي فعلاً؟

سامي كليب
انفراج أم انفجار؟

قرار الحسم العسكري السوري ما كان ليحصل لولا القناعة الداخلية اولا بأن السلاح قد يخرج عن القدرة على ضبطه، ولولا الغطاء الروسي والدعم الايراني.

تحاول طهران منذ فترة لعب دور كبير وبعيد عن الاضواء مع تركيا. جرت اتصالات كثيرة بين الجانبين. تزامن ذلك مع انفتاح ايراني جديد على وكالة الطاقة الدولية التي أنهى وفدها 3 أيام دون عوائق في ايران. يحكى عن رسائل نقلتها تركيا الى بعض الدول الغربية بشأن البرنامج النووي الايراني. وتزامن ذلك أيضا مع توتر شديد في العلاقات بين أنقرة وباريس على خلفية تبني قانون يجرّم إنكار إبادة الارمن.
يحار الغرب حاليا في التعاطي مع ايران. اسرائيل تكثف الضغوط. ينذر قادتها بعمل عسكري وشيك. ترد طهران وتهدد بإغلاق مضيق هرمز. يترنح سعر برميل النفط. يقلق أنصار أوباما من سقوط محتم لو تخطى سعر البرميل عتبة 130 دولارا. تتسارع وتيرة المبعوثين الاميركيين الى المنطقة لتهدئة الاندفاع الاسرائيلي. تسري وعود قاطعة بخنق ايران اقتصاديا ونفطيا. تنبري السعودية للتأكيد على انها ستعوض النقص النفطي في اسواق العالم.
يعتقد الغربيون أن تشديد الخناق على ايران كبير الاهمية في الوقت الراهن. سيعملون أيضا على تحويل الانتخابات الايرانية القريبة الى مشكلة داخلية ايرانية. سيصار الى تأجيج المعارضة الداخلية وإسماع أصوات كثيرة من الخارج، وثمة من يتحدث عن احتمال وقوع حوادث امنية ومصادمات عنيفة.

من الصعب تصور ايران متفرجة على محاولات خنقها من دون تحريك ساكن. ثمة من يصل الى حد القول بأنها قد لا تتردد في اللجوء الى الحرب لو ضاقت عليها السبل. يقول آخرون ان ذلك مستحيل لان الايرانيين هم أسياد من فاوض ومن أتقن لعبة التقدم والتراجع. لم يلعب الايرانيون كل أوراقهم بعد وهي كثيرة من العراق الى البحرين واليمن وصولا الى لبنان وأفغانستان.

لكن ثمة من يقول ان ايران باشرت فعليا الحرب. الحسم العسكري في سوريا هو البداية الفعلية. يقال ان مسؤولا عسكريا ايرانيا كبيرا جاء الى دمشق مؤخرا حاملا رسالة واضحة من مرشد الثورة الاسلامية الامام علي خامنئي مفادها ان ايران بناسها وقيادتها وجيشها ستكون الى جانب سوريا إذا تعرضت لأي هجوم. حامل الرسالة قيادي معروف بأنه لا ينقل رسائل كلامية بل يقرنها بالفعل.

تحركت ايران ايضا ومجددا صوب حركتي حماس والجهاد. أُعيد نسج بعض الخيوط التي كادت تنقطع مع حماس رغم كل الضغوط الخليجية. استقبل خامنئي الامين العام لحركة الجهاد الاسلامي رمضان عبد الله شلح . قال بحضوره: “ان الهدف الرئيس لمخطط أميركا وبعض دول المنطقة في سوريا هو توجيه ضربة الى جبهة المقاومة لان سوريا تدعم المقاومة الفلسطينية والمقاومة الاسلامية”. كرر مقولته الشهيرة في مناسبات كهذه: “ان النصر الالهي سيتحقق حتما”.

حين تتحدث ايران عن “النصر الالهي” تكون يدها على الزناد، ولكن يدها الاخرى على ملفات التفاوض. ليس رمضان شلح من الزوار الذين تتم معهم مناقشة قضايا دبلوماسية

السباق محموم أكثر من أي وقت مضى بين الانفراج والانفجار. لكن المشكلة تكمن الآن في أن أوباما وساركوزي في أوج حملتهما الانتخابية، فلا الحرب مضمونة ولا التراجع صوب تسوية مفيد. سوريا تحاول ربح الوقت، ولكن الاوقات لا تزال صعبة تماما للخروج من أزمتها المفتوحة على كل الاحتمالات.

من يضمن نجاح الحسم العسكري. ولو نجح فماذا عن مستقبل علاقة السلطة بالجزء المعارض من الشعب؟ ماذا عن مستقبل السياسة، وهل تكفي خطوات جذرية في داخل مؤتمر حزب البعث، أو تغيير للدستور أو تشكيل أحزاب وقانون إعلام جديد “لوأد الفتنة”؟
تبدو سوريا، أكثر من أي وقت مضى، أمام أكثر أوقاتها خطورة. وحين ينحصر الكلام بالسلاح، تصبح الرؤية محجوبة تماما خلف غبار المعارك، خصوصا اذا ما كان خصوم الرئيس الاسد يريدون رحيله مهما كلف الثمن، وهو سيحافظ على البقاء مهما كلف الثمن. هي معركة إقليمية ودولية بامتياز تجري على أرض سوريا وبدماء السوريين

موسكو: فلينشروا نتائج استـطلاعهم حول الأسد

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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About uprootedpalestinians

A displaced Palestinian
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