By Yusuf Fernandez | Al-Manar | December 10, 2012
The Syrian and foreign rebels, who are conducting operations in several provinces of Syria, have once again tried to expand their field of action to the capital, Damascus, but they have failed to do so despite support from Western and Arab media, which always refers to any one-time or limited rebel success as though it was final and definitive. This media and the insurgent propaganda try to persuade the world, and especially the Qatari and Saudi sponsors of the armed groups, that the rebellion is booming.
Most Western media uncritically reproduces statements made by the pro-rebellion London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) as though they were proven facts. In recent days, the SOHR has suggested that Damascus is (once again) about to fall.
The Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram even claimed that “the inhabitants of the Syrian capital Damascus… are subjected to brutal attacks from military positions on the outskirts and Mount Qasiun overlooking the city”. Claims like this one sought to make the public believe that the rebels were already controlling a part of the city. The newspaper also repeated the rebels´ propaganda as a parrot: “The revolutionaries say that their advance on Damascus will trigger a mutiny by the army against its commanders. They hope that thousands will also defect from the regular army and argue that the establishment of a no-fly zone in the country would automatically bring this about.”
Friday November 16th was dubbed by the armed bands the “Friday of the Advance on Damascus”, indicating a “decisive battle” with the regime. They prepared their offensive and several groups arrived in the Damascus province from several places in Syria, such as Deraa and Deir Ezzor. It is, therefore, clear that the rebels attempted in November their most important effort against the capital since their failure of the summer. But this offensive, like the previous one, appears to have been thwarted.
Despite the Free Syrian Army (FSA)´s operations in some towns of Damascus province, this group has at no time been able to enter the city. There have been clashes in the town of Daraya (South-West of the capital), the agricultural region of the Ghouta and the International Airport area (East). For the rebels, it was especially important to capture Daraya because of its strategic position: it oversees the important military airport of Mazzé.
The army´s counter-offensive
On November 29th, the Syrian army launched a vast operation of cleaning these areas within a radius of 5 to 12 miles around the capital. They had already been cleaned last August, but the destruction of armed bands in a densely-inhabited zone is not an easy task.
The newspaper al-Watan announced on December 2nd an army offensive against the places where terrorists had gathered together. “The Syrian army has opened since Thursday morning the gates of hell to all those who were thinking about approaching Damascus or launching an attack against the capital”, wrote the newspaper. It added that the government forces had inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels in several towns and villages.
After some days of offensive, the village of Daraya is now in the hands of the army. The town of Harasta, emptied of its inhabitants since it was invaded by the FSA, is also under the control of government forces while pockets of rebels remain in the nearby village of Duma.
In Ghouta, in the East, where the battle was at its peak this week around the International Airport, informed sources ensure that the airport and its surroundings have been secured, but gunfire can still be heard in distant regions. In the Sayyeda Zainab area, clashes persist between the pro-government militias protecting the district and armed groups holed up in the zone.
According to the Lebanese channel al-Mayadeen, which quoted a Syrian security official, the most violent combat took place on December 3rd. The site Syria Truth advanced the figure of 500 militiamen killed in the first four days of the army´s counter-offensive, including 40 in Deir al-Assafir, 30 in Nina al-Awamid, 60 in Shaba, 100 near the airport and 200 in the sector of Daraya. Al-Watan spoke of “hundreds of terrorists” killed in these days. On the other hand, the Syrian Air Force, indifferent to the threat of the fifty or so American surface-to-air missiles that the rebels hold, continues its attacks on the rebel positions every day.
On the other hand, the limited strength of the rebels in the Damascus province, where they are only a few thousands, make them structurally unable to seriously threaten a city of more than two million inhabitants, where the government is, for obvious reasons, particularly powerful. Rebel advances are always precarious and the armed bands cannot resist the counter-attacks of the army and the militias fighting alongside with it. In this context, the new rebel offensive on Damascus is already becoming another resounding failure.
French journalist Gilles Jacquier, who lost his life in central Syria earlier this year, was killed by the Syrian opposition’s mortar fire, a report says.
“This investigation was carried out by French intelligence and based on a ballistic study carried out in the area. According to my contact, the mortar fire came from the Sunni rebel zone,” wrote Georges Malbrunot, a member of the editorial board of Le Figero, in the French newspaper.
This is while Western reports have put the blame on Damascus, saying Jacquier was killed by a Syrian army shell.
On January 11, Jacquier, 43, was killed in the central Syrian city of Homs.
The Western journalists were on a government-authorized trip to the city at the time of the attack.
Gilles Jacquier, working for France 2 TV, was the first Western reporter to die since the beginning of the unrest in Syria in mid-March 2011. He had covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.
The Syrian government had previously blamed armed groups for the attack.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.
While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters, Damascus blames ”outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
- Opposition offensive on Damascus a lie – Syrian gov’t (english.ruvr.ru)
- French Foreign Minister Accused of Falsifying Reports on Syria “To Provoke a War” (theuglytruth.wordpress.com)
“A true Islamic Resistance will never be fooled or defeated by the servants of Zion“
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance, Hamas, condemned on Thursday, the kidnapping, torture and murder of 17 soldiers of Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) by the Zionist collaborators, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) armed thugs. It looks as though Hamas leaders are learning from their mistake of betraying their long-time ally, the Assad regime in Syria.
In April 2012, two Israel-Firster US Senators, Joe Lieberman (a Zionist Jew ) and John McCain (a Zionist Christian) paid a surprise visit to the Turkish-Syrian border to meet with the leaders of the USrael-backed FSA. In a joint statement, both of them urged US and its allies to arm the Syrian rebel militants.
PLA chief of staff Major General Mohammad Tareq al-Khadraa told Syrian TV SANA: “The fact that the armed terrorist groups kidnapped and killed 17 troops from the Palestinian Liberation Army in Syria proves the criminal, dirty role that these groups play and their links to Western and Zionist agendas.”
The PLA is a battalion in the Syrian army, although it is made up of Palestinians living in Syria and who are conscripted to the armed forces. Roughly 470,000 Palestinian refugees live in Syria.
Faruk Logoglu, former Turkish ambassador in Washington, was quoted saying recently: “Turkey’s hosting armed FSA fighters and allowing them to carry out attacks in Syria – is against all international norms; against all neighborly relations. It’s a basic rule that countries must respect the sovereignty of others“.
Some Turkish commentators believe that Washington expects Turk soldiers to die in Syria to topple Bashar al-Assad, while some want Ankara to exploit the downing of the Turkish spying aircraft by Syria overflying Syrian airspace – to isolate al-Assad’s three main supporters; Russia, Iran and Hizbullah.
It would be better if Hamas and the rest of the Muslim leadership come out of its mindset of; “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. They must judge their “newly found friend” by its past which has proven, again and again to be poodle of Zion. It wants to destabilize and breakup every Muslim nation-state which the Zionist regime thinks may pose a threat to Israel’s survival in the future.
Gen. Robert Mood, chief of UN monitoring mission in Syria has already confirmed that the arms deliveries from abroad (the US, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) is the main reason the bloodshed is on the rise.
- Armed rebels abduct 14 Palestinian Liberation Army members in Syria (alethonews.wordpress.com)