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Syria: finally a genuine observer | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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It seems that we have discovered the first genuine Arab observer in Syria, with potentially more to come, from the group of what I previously termed the delegation of Arab spectators! This “genuine” observer has contradicted the head of the Arab League observer mission in Syria [Mustafa al-Dabi], and has also undermined all the efforts of the Arab League Secretary General, who previously tried to “patch up” al-Dabi’s comments.

The “al-Arabiya” satellite channel recently aired a video showing one Arab observer, speaking in a North African dialect, saying that the al-Assad regime’s snipers are currently deployed in Daraa. He called for their withdrawal in clear and direct language. This undermines everything al-Dabi said about conditions being “good” in Syria, and also destroys the illusion, or “patching up” attempt, undertaken by the Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil el-Araby. Against the background of al-Dabi’s comments, el-Araby said that what the head of the Arab mission in Syria meant by “good conditions” in the country was not a reference to the situation on the ground, but rather the al-Assad regime’s willingness to cooperate. The fact is that the video broadcast by al-Arabiya, showing a genuine Arab observer complaining about al-Assad’s snipers, discredits el-Araby’s words and renders them redundant. This clearly shows that the Arab League is confused and conflicted.

What is happening in Syria does not require delegations and observers, but rather it requires a real effort to stop the al-Assad killing machine there. What the regime is doing to the Syrians is a genuine crime, and to remain silent about this is to enter into partnership with the al-Assad killing machine. The story is not about emotions, it is about defending the Syrians and condemning Bashar al-Assad. The Arab stance has so far fallen short, and cannot be considered rational.

What is happening in Syria today, at the hands of a tyrant and his killing machine, does not need delegations and observers, the facts have already been proven. There is also no need for al-Dabi’s great efforts to serve the al-Assad regime, or for a delegation of Arab “spectators”, amongst whom we have found only one genuine observer so far, with the courage to talk from Syria in front of a camera, and say that the al-Assad regime’s snipers are actually there. How many banners have we seen like the one carried by protestors in Hama, which said: “Observers are like ghosts, we have not seen one in Hama!”

What is needed today, as I have said repeatedly, is to grant the Syrians a buffer zone and impose a no-fly zone, under the umbrella of the UN Security Council or outside of it. This must be done without worrying about what is said or done by the Russians, who recently rushed to issue a statement praising the efforts of the al-Assad regime, and its cooperation with the Arab observers, in reference to al-Dabi’s comments which the Arab League Secretary General then tried to “patch up”. The Russian Foreign Ministry simply said in its statement that “judging by the public statements made by the chief of the mission [Mustafa] al-Dabi, who in the first of his visits went to the city of Homs…the situation seems to be reassuring”. Moscow does not care about the Syrian victims, who now total 6 thousand people. There is a need for genuine action to help the Syrians turn over a depressing page in the history of Syria, and the region as a whole. We need a courageous Arab stance, like that of the one genuine, brave Arab observer.