Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Al-Assad’s reign is over | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The tragedy that occurred in Syria on Sunday, on the eve of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, showed a regime that has become monstrous and is hysterically attacking everybody, the left-wing as well as the right-wing, with the aim of sending a message to the people, namely: do not even think about staging demonstrations or protests in any form, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Syrian regime has aggressively sought to promote more than one theory to explain the huge popular uprisings that are taking place in the country and calling for an end to the al-Assad regime. Sometimes it promotes the idea that cities like Homs and Deraa have become Salafist Islamic emirates, whilst at other times it claims that these protests are being organized by armed militia with backing from Mossad or the CIA, and at other times still Damascus attempts to lay the blame for the demonstrations at the feet of the Muslim Brotherhood. What is most important is that the Damascus regime – which has isolated itself from its own people through its violent and brutal campaigns of suppression – has never once imagined the extent of the Syrian people’s hatred of it, or their desire to see an end to the al-Assad regime once and for all.

In recent weeks, pro-government security troops, known as the “Shabiha” militia or gang, have indirectly supplied the revolutionaries with arms and weaponry in the hope that they will use them against the security forces or against any of Syria’s Alawite, Druze, Christian, Ismaili, or Kurdish minorities, but this did not happen. The Syrian regime has taken a number of audacious actions in recent weeks, including withdrawing 4.6 billion Syrian Pounds from the Syrian Central Bank, and transferring this money in broad daylight in three big lories to the mountainous village of Qardaha in north-west Syria, the traditional home and stronghold of the al-Assad family. In addition to this, three major weapons storehouses were also emptied, with arms and ammunition also being sent to Qardaha. Former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Bin Ali took similar measures before fleeing the country, whilst Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has also withdrawn a huge amount of money from the Libyan Central banks, keeping these finances in secure locations to allow him to spend this on vital resources. The Syrian regime attempted to incite regional violence between Aleppo and Damascus and other Syrian cities in an attempt to weaken the revolution. The regime chose to hold a celebration – including a musical concert – in one city [Damascus], on the same day that the second city [Hama] – and others – were being subject to aerial bombardment and missile strikes, with houses being destroyed and people being killed. The regime also attempted to incite sectarian violence between the Sunnis and the Alawites, as well as between Muslims and Christians across the country, in an aim to terrify them. The Damascus regime also tried to scare businessmen and economists by fooling them into thinking that they are the target [of these protests], and that the protesters ultimate objective is to gain their money. The size of demonstrations in Syria continued to increase, after the people broke through the barrier of fear once and for all, and protests have intensified and spread throughout the country, occurring in cities like Deraa, Hama, Deir al-Zour, Abu Kamal and elsewhere. Cities began to fall under the protesters control one after another, and even Aleppo and Damascus have begun to witness protests and trouble.

Bashar al-Assad has lost his credibility, legitimacy and humanity as he continues to follow the course of systematically killing and suppressing his own people. Any liberal figure, or anyone who has any conscience whatsoever, must denounce the Syrian regime’s crimes, demand that the al-Assad regime is overthrown, and that its members are prosecuted as war criminals. Indeed remaining silent at such crimes is to participate in them.

Syria is close to being liberated from the al-Assad regime, and its reputation will once again be freed in the same manner as its people and soil.