Categorized | Syria

Syrian armed forces


I was opposed to dedicate a Friday to the Syrian armed forces as was done weeks ago by the Ikhwan opposition movement.  But then again, I oppose the Ikhwan as I oppose the lousy Syrian regime.  Those armed forces are not part of the solution: they are part of the problem.  Also, note that they have stayed almost intact during the repression.  We have not had brigade or unit defections like in Yemen.  The apparatus of repression in Syria has been maintained and tightly managed by the regime.

I watch the reports about their heavy gunfire: from the sea or from the land (they won’t dear fly their planes because they don’t want to upset Israel–this is a regime that is more sensitive to Israel than to the feelings of the Asad dynasty).  Look how ferocious their gunfire use is: where was all that courage in the successive confrontations with Israel?  It was one failure and one defeat after the other.  The Asad family has started their failed leadership of the Syrian military from the 1967 defeat (when Hafidh was commander of the air force).

The defeat of 1973 has been the fuel that kept the Syrian and Egyptian regime going for too long: the lie of the 1973 defeat (when the outcome of the war expanded Israeli achievements beyond 1967) provided a big boost of political legitimacy for both the Syrian Asad regime and the Egyptian Sadat regime. It seems that the Syrian army does not mind being used against a civilian population, while being trained to avoid any contact with Israel even when Israel bombs deep inside Syria or when Israeli planes flies over the Asad palace in Latakia.  The scenes are symptomatic of status Arab armies: always for repression and never for the protection of borders or for standing up to Israeli aggression.  If it is up to me, I would name a Friday (although I am not in favor of mixing religion with the political manifestations of any Arab uprising): down with the Syrian armed forces: the arm of repression of the Asad regime.

Syrian repression

The savagery of the Syrian regime has given the Syrian people the right to mount an armed rebellion against it.  But no Arab government can be trusted in that effort (they are NATO clients, those regimes), and no Arab government really cares about the welfare of the Syrian people.  And armed Arab groups, like Hamas and Hizbullah, are aligned with the Syrian regime although both organizations have been silent as of late.  Indicatively, even the pro-Syrian regime newspaper, As-Safir, has published critical articles by its publisher, Talal Salman.
The Syrian regime also benefits from the unity of the armed forces: defections have been scant and minimal and security agencies continue with the brutal crackdown with little organizational fissures.  It is unclear how things will turn out in Syria:  the regime–rightly or wrongly–seems to operate on the assumption that a large sector of the population is on its side.  There is a class element: many pro-regime websites and some Syrians on FB refer to protesters as “Abu Shahhatah” (literally, Father of slippers but a reference to the “low class status” of protesters).   Don’t trust Turkey: it may not be coincidental that the crackdown in Syria intensified after the visit of Turkish foreign minister.
The Syrian people are alone: I don’t count Saudi exploitation of the Syrian situation, or the American, as indication of solidarity.  It is much worse than that.  Those would sell the Syrian people and even add fuel to repression and gunfire if Syria offers them foreign policy concessions.

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