Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Celebrating the fall of Damascus | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The protests that took place in Mezzeh – in the heart of Damascus –surprised everybody; the Syrian regime, regional and international states, particularly those that have been cautious [over the situation in Syria], in addition to al-Assad regime supporters. This is also something that applies to the politicians. This means that everybody, in the coming days, will celebrate the fall of Damascus.

Those monitoring the situation in Syria will have noticed positional changes and unexpected reversals [on Syria], which is something that may even reach defections from the al-Assad regime itself! Regionally speaking, we see Egypt withdrawing its ambassador from Damascus and all the talk is now about the necessity of Egypt cutting its relations with the al-Assad regime; indeed surprise has been expressed from within Egypt itself that it has taken Cairo this long to take this position. Some people are attributing the latest Egyptian position to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood escalation against the al-Assad regime, which is something that has embarrassed the decision-makers in Cairo. This may be true, but the most important reason is what happened in Damascus, for after protesters dramatically took to the streets there – which is something that did not even happen in Tripoli during the revolution against Gaddafi – nothing remains for the al-Assad regime or the cautious [states]. Indeed what many have failed to pay attention to is the fact that the Damascus protests took place just 700 meters away from al-Assad’s palace! This is something that could have an impact on the composition of the al-Assad regime itself, accelerating the internal divisions within the regime, as we previously mentioned, particularly as there is information about the approaching moment of division, which will be revealed in the coming days. The shaking of the capital, any capital, means that that the regime has begun to shudder. There is also now explicit talk about some businessmen leaving Syria to save themselves, and their money, not to mention claims that the al-Assad government is practically divided in reality.

The other indication that the politicians will celebrate the fall of Damascus is the statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which contradicts what was put forward by the al-Assad regime media following the visit paid by the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister to the country. Whilst the al-Assad media claimed that the Chinese envoy had expressed Beijing’s complete support for the al-Assad regime, the statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister had informed al-Assad of Beijing’s endorsement of the Arab initiative. This is an extremely important indication, for it means that China is trying to redeem the terrible mistake it made at the UN Security Council, whilst it is also trying to distance itself from the latest crimes committed by the al-Assad regime.

The other issue here is Russia publicly stating that Moscow is still waiting for a Gulf response on its request for a meeting, which is what we revealed last week, and undoubtedly the question that poses itself in the reader’s mind at this instance is: why has the Sino-Russian tone [on Syria] changed now? The logical answer to this is that the recent actions taken by Damascus has forced, and will force, everybody – including Beijing and Moscow – to celebrate the fall of Damascus, whilst the horror of the massacres being carried out by the al-Assad regime in Syria does not allow any state to form an alliance with a state that kills children. One might say: what about Iran? Here the answer is completely difference, for al-Assad’s survival is a case of life and death for Tehran, because the collapse of the al-Assad regime no doubt means cutting the hand of Iran in the region!

Therefore, after al-Assad has shed the blood of the Syrians, and faced the protests in Mezzeh, we have to wait in suspense for what follows the fall of Damascus.