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Syria and the President's allies - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It seems that the Syrian President’s allies in the region are now aware of the truth about what is happening in Syria today; they are now talking openly about the need to reform the situation, or rather rescue it, before something truly undesirable happens.

The Druze leader Walid Jumblatt wrote in his weekly article for the newspaper “al-Anba”: “I appeal to President Bashar al-Assad, and he has a lot of courage, to move quickly and take steps to bring about a radical change in his approach to the current situation, and the challenges faced by Syria. He must follow a new approach through which he accommodates the legitimate demands and addresses them, to prevent Syria sliding towards fragmentation and continual bleeding”.

Walid Jumblatt was not alone in saying that yesterday, even the editor of the Lebanese newspaper “al-Safir”, Talal Salman, offered his opinion. Yesterday he wrote an article entitled “where is President al-Assad, and why not engage the Syrians in reform?” We do not know if it was just a coincidence that prompted two of Syria’s friends in Lebanon to issue two articles warning the Syrian president on the same day, or something else!

Remarkably, in Talal Salman’s article, he belittles the conspiracy theory promoted by the Syrian regime’s media, and expressed surprise at the extent of the “conspirators” influence, wondering: “How are they (the conspirators) able to spread their lies in a governance system often described as [ruling with] an iron fist?” He went on to say in his article that in the Syrian regime “there are multiple, influential security organs, in the domains of parties, politics and the military. They are everywhere, so that they can know everything about all people in all places”.

Of course, the concern of Syria’s allies is justified, especially as matters begin to take on “significant milestones”. The Syrian uprising appears to be turning, after it gained two important things, firstly genuine domestic support. Here it is suffice to consider the scene of a Syrian child in Daraa, no more than 12 years old, crying and screaming, demanding the overthrow of the regime, as his family was killed at the hands of the security services. If a child of this age, and innocence, has abandoned his fear, then what about the adults? The Syrian uprising has now also gained international cover. Following America, the European Union has imposed sanctions on the Syrian President himself, which has earned the Syrian uprising international cover, and likewise increased the isolation of the regime, and ended its legitimacy.

In the articles by the Syrian President’s allies, whether Walid Jumblatt or Talal Salman, they both talk with the logic of “a true friend is one who is honest with you”. However, the strange thing is that in Salman’s article, he clearly attacks the Gulf States, without exception, as well as the Gulf media, even though what they said, both Jumblatt and Salman, is merely a repetition of what has been written and said throughout the crisis, and for a long time. Here Salman says in his article: “It is a serious political crisis. It is a crisis of a regime that cares about [its interests] abroad and often overlooks its domestic situation, satisfied to leave the security apparatus to control peoples’ lives in all their fundamentals and details”. He went on to talk about the Syrian President, asking: “why is he not freeing himself from the shackles of formality, and intermediaries, to announce – himself – that he has ordered a halt to military operations?”

Here one would have to say: true words, but too late!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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