Blast in Damascus. Photo: AFP.
On Friday, Syrian authorities reported foiling that one more large-scale terrorist attack, this time in Aleppo, the country’s second largest city. The news came when the streets of Damascus were still smoking from two Thursday’s explosions, which killed 55 people and wounded 372. All terrorist acts targeted the Syrian security service, but, like many similar actions, hit a lot of civilians. In Damascus, the two bombs were set off at the moment when children were on their way to school, so they made up a significant part of the victims. Luckily, in Aleppo the policemen managed to kill the suicide bomber before he had the time to set off the 1.2 tons heavy bomb he had hidden in his car.
On Russia’s insistence, the Security Council of the United Nations condemned the terrorist acts in Damascus. For once in several months, the vote was unanimous. But here is the question: why did such a simple act as a condemnation of a terrorist act require Russia’s initiative, who could have doubts in the morality of such a simple human move?
And doubts there were, the reluctance of anti-Assad Western powers to talk about the terrorist attacks against the much-vilified Syrian security services, in which hundreds of bystanders have already been killed, is for everyone to see, and not only in the UN. The problem is that the brutal suicide bombings in Syria bear all the “trademarks” of Al-Qaeda, they were prepared and conducted in strict accordance with the “technologies” developed by the Islamists in neighboring Iraq, plunged into a bloody civil war by an American invasion in 2003. There are many reasons to believe that not only the technologies, but also the “performers” of terrorist acts were the same people on both the Iraqi and Syrian territories.
Meanwhile, the anti-Syrian Western powers and their allies in the Persian Gulf, primarily Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been denying the Syrian government’s claims that it is being attacked by Islamist terrorists all along. Acknowledging this obvious fact would tarnish the image of the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council, which the United States and their West European allies had declared “the only legitimate government of Syria” at the recent summits of the so called “friends of Syria” in Tunisia and Turkey.
“Are we financing Al-Qaeda?” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked herself in February, when news reports about the bombings in Damadcus and Aleppo became impossible to ignore.
With such “friends,” who needs enemies? Terrorist attacks, long disregarded by the Western media, always eager to notice any breach of human rights on the side of the Syrian government forces, have become especially rampant since the opposition started losing ground to Syrian government forces, much to the dislike of the SNC’s sponsors in Washington and Western Europe. At the summit of “friends” in Istanbul, the United States even agreed to pay “salaries” to the defectors from the Syrian army, if they join the anti-government fight to the best of their ability. After that, Mrs. Clinton’s question – “Are we financing Al-Qaeda?” – finally became a fully rhetorical one.
The NATO-operated machine used against the Syrian government is clumsy and destructive, but, once set in motion, it cannot be stopped, just like the machine that destroyed Iraq. Even the obnoxious crimes in Damascus and Aleppo did not stop the EU leaders from agreeing in principle on a new package of sanctions against Syria, due to be signed by the foreign ministers of the member countries on Monday in Brussels. This is the fifteenth series of sanctions targeting 126 persons and 41 business groups in Syria. Earlier, the EU prohibited any economic or military assistance to the Syrian army and police. So far, we have not heard of any sanctions against the terrorists killing Syrian civilians or their sponsors in the Gulf and elsewhere.
The anti-regime authorship of this week’s terrorist acts in Syria is obvious, but the American and the EU leaders pretend to have “doubts,” stopping short of the absurd claims that the Syrian security services blow up their buildings deliberately. Plans for a joint military intervention in Syria of the Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and possibly Western forces continue to leak into the press. The French daily Le Figaro, for example, published a set of “scenarios” for Syria. The likeliest one, the so called Libyan scenario, presupposes a military intervention from the Turkish territory. The pretext would be a possible skirmish on the border between the Syrian troops and the heavily armed Syrian “refugees” organizing raids from the Turkish side of the border. Le Figaro’s star analyst on the Middle East, Georges Malbrunot, claims that the only matter of discord between the Turkish generals and the SNC’s leadership is the area where a Turkish-protected safe haven for the Syrian guerillas should be established. The Turks want it to be located far from the Kurdish-populated areas, fearing retaliation in their own Kurdish-populated Turkish provinces. The attack could come from Kurdish separatists or from Iran, Syria’s ally, who gets more and more uneasy about Syria’s treatment by Turkey.That would mean a major war in the region, Malbrunot notes. So, is the “regime change” in Syria indeed worth such a risk?
May 11, 2012