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The Syrian regime’s worst enemy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Three separate Syrian news items were published yesterday; but if we read them in a linked context, our vision will be clearer regarding how the regime in Damascus is dealing with the unprecedented popular uprising.

The news was as follows: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that Syrian security services have continued to detain, since May 12th, the activist brothers Ghassan, Bashar and Mohammad al-Sahyouni from Banias, who surrendered under the presidential amnesty, issued in a statement from the Interior Ministry. The second news item relates to the regime’s announcement of a parties’ law, and the third is a statement from the so-called “Sunni Iraqi Jihadists”, declaring their support for the revolution in Syria.

The first piece of news, about the continued detention of the al-Sahyouni brothers and the lack of information regarding their situation, indicates that the regime’s promise to pardon all those who surrendered themselves in May was nothing but another in a long series of promises that the regime has not adhered to.

With regards to the declaration of a parties’ law, it is suffice to read only the first condition of the terms of establishment to know the whole story, which states that: “[new parties must] commit to the provisions of the constitution, the principles of democracy, the rule of law, respect for freedoms and fundamental rights, as well as international declarations on human rights and conventions ratified by Syrian Arab Republic”! Is it not first and foremost necessary that a new party commit to the Syrian authorities, before all these other conditions, for they have the power and weapons, and the upper hand? How can the regime tell this to its citizens, or the parties that are supposed to launch, in a country where the constitution stipulates that the Baathists are the ruling party, and following the deaths of 1,500 people, with thousands more detained or displaced? How can the regime tell its citizens that they must commit to democracy, the constitution, the rule of law, and respect human rights and freedoms, whilst the Shabiha has a free reign to suppress and humiliate the people? How sad and horrifying was the video showing the Shabiha abusing the Imam of Abdul Qadir Gilani mosque in Homs?

The third news story was the statement issued from Iraqi Jihadists in support of the Syrian revolution. This should be referred to as “the statement of Abu Adas II” [in reference to the Lebanese citizen who appeared in a video allegedly claiming responsibility for the assassination of Rafik Hariri, on behalf of an obscure extremist organization]. The first [Abu Adas] statement came with a Lebanese tint, to pervert the course of justice after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, whilst the second statement comes with an Iraqi tint to mislead those inside Syria. After terrorists infiltrating Iraq were used [by the Syrian regime] in order to achieve foreign objectives, today they are being used for internal objectives. Here we must remember that in October 2008 the Americans carried out an operation in the Syrian region of Abu Kamal, which is besieged by Syrian security forces today. At the time, the Americans were targeting what they called terrorists, and arresting others, in a camp that was said to facilitate the infiltration of terrorists to Iraq from Syria, under the eyes of the Damascus regime. It was then revealed that the American operation took place soon after the withdrawal of Syrian border guards from the region, which explains what was considered at the time the launching of Syrian-American security cooperation, to stop the flow of terrorists to Iraq from Syria!

Therefore, reading the three news stories in a linked context tells us that the Syrian regime is doing all it can in terms of tricks to avoid the reforms which it promised years ago, not today. This confirms that the Syrian regime’s worst enemy is itself, not terrorists, or Islamists, as the regime and its agents claim. The reality is that the Damascus regime is far from reform. In fact, it has continued with its tricks for a long time and does not even know the language of reform.