A wave of terrorist attacks swept through Damascus. At night, the bandits tried to seize one of the roadblocks in the capital of Syria, but were discarded. And again, the media yelled about the "battles in Damascus." What is the real situation in Damascus and Syria in general? Dmitry Yershov, a political scientist at the Anna News news agency, answers these and other questions in an exclusive interview with Segodnya.ru, from Damascus.
- February 21 attacks were a response to the proposals of Syria and Russia about the negotiations. It is not by chance that the explosion that took the most lives of civilians took place close to the Russian embassy. It seems that the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation was the main target of the terrorists. In other words, it is an act of revenge against Damascus and Moscow, which rigidly stops any attempts of large-scale military intervention in the Syrian conflict from outside and continues a consistent line of support for the legitimate authority in Syria. Of course, the terrorist international received a command to destabilize the situation in Damascus and rushed to carry it out. And the team came from Qatar ...
But despite everything, the situation in the capital of Syria is calm and controlled. The most important indicator is a huge number of people on the streets. There are no fights in the city itself, no matter how the world media lied there. There are no fights in the center on Abbasid Square, as some reputable Western publications have stated. There was a brief shelling, the firing points of the terrorists were suppressed. No checkpoints are captured. The city lives a normal, measured life. There is no panic in Damascus either. Lots of cars and people.
... As for the premises of these events, large groups of terrorists are blocked in the suburbs of Damascus. In particular, in the Duma and Darayya, where a global sweep has been underway for several months. In another suburb - Haraste, a gang of terrorists is practically destroyed, as in a number of other places. The situation for the militants is critical. They ran out of food, ammunition, no one can supply them, because all these settlements have already been completely blocked. And these, let's say, actions, allegedly from an attack on Damascus, are in fact a desperate attempt by terrorists to break out of the encirclement and leave at least somewhere to their logical destruction by the Syrian army.
It is worth noting that the terrorists have heavy artillery. For example, from the stadium of the Duma, the houses of residential quarters nearby and the hospital located there are regularly shelled. We were at these sites, we saw how a howitzer shell actually blew the doctor's apartment. In this case, the wife of the doctor was at this time in an apartment with two young children. She was saved only by a miracle ... The terrorists began to attack civilians in the expectation of causing panic and fear.
From the same series, there are regular informational injections that serious battles are allegedly taking place in Damascus, that the Syrian authorities can no longer resist the rebels. And in fact, the "rebels" who are terrorists themselves got into the boiler, they are systematically destroyed. Soon their days will end, they will end. The other day it was reported that another ally Nusra Front 700 terrorists left Syria, heading for Mali.
- Back in December last year, there were reports of the successes of the Syrian troops in Darayya, the destruction of many terrorists. But fierce fighting continues ...
- In Darayya fights go a few months. A large group of militants - Wahhabis gathered from all over the world, entered there in late November - early December, when they announced the so-called. operations "Volcano in Damascus". But there was a volcano in Darayya - successful blows were inflicted on the gangs, the city is being cleaned up.
The delayed periods are connected with the fact that the soldiers of the Syrian army tried to at least somehow preserve this city and the property of the inhabitants, who were forced to flee from there. There is a slow systematic progress. Every day 100-150 meters are released. The Syrian army is hampered by suicide snipers, whom the terrorists leave in their homes. The supply of bandit groups in Darayya goes through underground tunnels - we also made a good movie about it. These tunnels discover the Syrian military, and, of course, destroy.
- What is the length of these tunnels?
- Some tunnels are up to 5 km, they are supplied with medicines, ammunition, weapons and replenishment of terrorists surrounded in Darayya. This is the only way to supply them, because the city is blocked from all sides, as well as the Duma.
I myself have already been in Syria for quite a long time, and when we first arrived in December for a position in Darayya - the fighting went on the outskirts of the city, right at the sign “Welcome to Darayya”. Now the battles are already in the center of the city and the terrorists have remained under control of several blocks. Sukein’s mosque, which was being held by terrorists, was recently released. They placed on the minarets, on the dome of the mosque of snipers.
- Was writer Sergey Berezhnoy injured in these places?
- Yes, the sniper wounded our colleague, a respected judge from the Belgorod region writer Sergey Berezhnoy. Now this mosque has been liberated, but battles are taking place along the perimeter.
Do not forget that the terrorists have large-caliber machine guns, on which they hang optics. This know-how allows you to conduct aimed fire at a distance of up to 4-km, so the command is cautious, saves manpower, technology and the city itself ...
- What are the forces of terrorists?
“Syrians are opposed by disparate forces.” The backbone consists of foreign mercenaries - professional mojaheds from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, who fight for money. There are foreign mercenaries, foreign special forces. Last year, the French military was detained - this is well known история. In the battles, the Turkish military were killed, and elite British special forces appeared in Darayya. But the core of the backbone is precisely the mercenaries from the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf - the Saudis, Qatari. They occupy, as a rule, leading posts in this gangster hierarchy.
The division itself goes into two camps. The first camp is radical Islamists who receive instructions, financial and military support are received from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This is the so-called. The Salafi-Wahhabi current is fighting for the idea of radical Islam. They are fighting very cruelly, almost never surrender. We saw the corpses of dead Saudis. They can be distinguished by a henna-colored beard, and the flags of Al-Qaida and the units of its Syrian branch, Al-Nusra Front. This is the most frostbitten forces that oppose the Syrian regime. What they are doing here can only be called a lawlessness very softly, because in reality it is much worse.
There are still so-called. Moderates are also ordinary gangsters, in fact, that they constitute the “Free Syrian Army” (PAS). Now in Aleppo, there is a situation when the radical Islamists and the SSA are actually fighting with each other. Apparently, the loot is divided. These forces are not friendly with each other. There is also a bunch of small terrorist units that are engaged in banal robbery, taking hostages for ransom and minor sabotage. This is a local Syrian criminal element.
There are some Syrian citizens in the ranks of radical Islamists who fraudulently or by their own misunderstanding joined these ranks. It was the adherents of the ideas of Salafism and Wahhabism that took up arms and demolished their own country. How to name them? Good word does not work.
If you dwell on the SSA, then its structure is divided. How they did not try to unite it in Doha, and how the Turks did not try to do it - it does not work: there are too many different detachments that call themselves the SSA, but in fact do not obey anyone except their leaders. The same with the "Al Nusra Front" and radical Islamist groups that are divided into emirs. Each emir directs his gang. They communicate and communicate with each other, but they do not like united command.
The political structure of these scumbags is represented by the so-called recently formed Doha (the capital of Qatar). national coalition government on the basis of the National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces (NKORS), led by Ahmed Muaz Al-Khatib.
This Al-Khatib was at one time the imam of a mosque in Damascus, then for certain financial benefits he went over to the other side. He has no real influence on the situation in Syria, but is used as a puppet in all these difficult games.
Another thing to consider is the moment of the role of a foreign state in this conflict. For example, in Aleppo, Turkey provides assistance to scattered terrorists, but it does not render it free of charge. First, the Turks have their own geopolitical ideas, which are also difficult to call sensible. For this, the blame lies directly on the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Erdogan, who went on about the West and dragged his country into a conflict that he absolutely did not need. Turkey is profitable in all respects stable Syria, but Erdogan provides maximum support to precisely those forces that destabilize the situation. In exchange for these radical groups, the Turks are exporting factory equipment from Syria. More than a thousand factories were looted in Aleppo during these months of confrontation! This is a factor of economic aggression, real terror.
Another point - a serious deception of refugees. Fearing for their lives, hundreds of thousands of people in Syria left the country, falling for a deceptive offer from Turkey and Qatar. They moved to Jordan, where they were promised to build houses and create infrastructure. Now they live in tents, get wet in the rain. Accordingly, they have not built any houses. They were tritely deceived. They are begging there, and, by the way, they are not allowed to return to their homeland.
The situation is similar in the refugee camps in Turkey. These camps serve as an excellent feed for radical groups, because desperate people often see no way to feed their families, find means to live in any way — and go for some ridiculous money, you can say for pennies ($ 100-200) to the troops either the SSA or the radical Islamists. Right there, in Turkey, these unfortunate people learn to shoot Soviet-made or Chinese-made Kalashnikov assault rifles from Saudi Arabia’s warehouses, which they had previously bought from Eastern European countries and through intermediaries in China. They arm themselves and go like cannon fodder to fight with Syria, where, of course, in the case of clashes they are put without sparing.
The vast majority of gangs is engaged in banal robbery, extortion and other completely unseemly acts.
- How are the events in Syria connected with Libya?
- Let's start with Libya. Gaddafi practically did not have an army, but the 32 brigade of Khamis Gaddafi, the old Air Force, had some decorative fleet attached to it.
The insurgency in Benghazi was unleashed from outside by the forces of radical Islamists, released, by the way, a few weeks before from the CIA Guantanamo prison in Cuba, which shows clearly where their ears are growing. Mercenaries flooded from Egypt, Tunisia, where there were open borders as a result of the recent "Arab Spring" coups a month before the Libyan events.
Gaddafi in late February - early March, 2011 really turned the tide, even though he didn't have an army, in fact. The 32 Brigade approached Benghazi, a mutiny failed, if not for the intervention of the NATO bloc, not for the bombing of Libya under the pretext of supposedly protecting the airspace.
What could be the airspace when they bombed everything and everyone, including the palaces of Gaddafi? In May, his grandchildren and son died. After Gaddafi actually managed to suppress the rebellion, foreign aggression against Libya began, and she had no chance, because the country was completely isolated. The leadership of Algeria was afraid and did not provide any substantial support to the government.
Libya plunged into chaos, the militia forces simply crushed: the armored vehicles were destroyed from the air, and then foreign special forces from Qatar, Great Britain completed the job. It was they who staged the assault on Tripoli at the end of August 2011. And Gaddafi finished as he graduated.
In parallel with this situation, it is necessary to conduct, because after Libya fell, she broke up into separate pieces. There is now no single government. That which sits in Tripoli, for example, Cyrenaica does not obey. In Fitzana, radical Islamists are generally, hence all the problems in Mali and the south of Algeria.
In Libya, there are camps for training militants who go to Syria (this is the main stream) and ... to our North Caucasus. There is information from certain structures that even the basics of the Russian language are taught in these camps. It is easy to guess why this is done.
I repeat that Libya itself, as a state, is not now. It is worth noting that if the same happens, God forbid, here, then Syria will also cease to exist as a single state and turn into Libya. I am sure that the Syrian people, at least the sensible part of them, the Syrian army, which is, was and will be, and which is one of the most prominent armies in the Middle East, understands this.
Bashar al-Assad has an army of soldiers who love their country and are ready to die for it. I read it in the eyes of those soldiers with whom I had to communicate. Almost every one of them is ready to fight to the end and does not doubt it. These are real heroes who are ready to give their lives for their homeland, for loved ones, for their friends. These are patriots. I think they can’t be broken, they can only be killed, but too much will have to be killed.
Now there is no so-called "closed sky" over the territory of Syria, no matter how it tried to push through the UN Security Council and other structures sworn "friends of Syria" and the countries of the Persian Gulf. Therefore, in Syria, it turned out to be much more difficult to implement a plan to destabilize the Middle East.
Now, in fact, this project has already been abandoned, and the Wahhabi-Salafi International, the gangsters of the SSA stalled. Although the money for the destruction of Syria was allocated huge - more than $ 100 billion.
Unfortunately, the losses of Syria from this war are also huge. The country lost over $ 1,5 billion in infrastructure conflict over these 300 years, plus another $ 48 billion - purely losses to the Syrian budget through sanctions, for banning the export of Syrian oil. After all, 95% Syrian oil went to the European Union.
The West, the Persian Gulf need destabilized Syria, where they can simply buy, as they do now in Libya, local princes and use them to their advantage.
- No less serious loss is that a part of the population of Syria was captured by the ideas of radical Islam. We all see shots of people coming out, bringing their children to minors and saying that they will cut, kill, etc. Scary shots for a country where representatives of traditionally different denominations got on together since ancient times.
Here everyone is talking about the Chechen factor. Still, there are militants from the North Caucasus. And what else is the situation connected with Syria with Russia?
- I saw terrible shots when a 7-year-old child stood with an al-Qaeda bandage on his head and spoke about cutting and killing. Such cadres for any normal person, wherever he is - in Damascus, in Moscow, in Paris - will not cause positive feelings. Positive feelings, these frames can cause only scumbags. We still have few scumbags. Therefore, these videos do not color these freaks who do it, and just open their eyes to the whole world. These very freaks who do such things themselves, putting such videos on the network, allow normal, adequate people to open their eyes to their very essence.
As for the ties of events in Syria, Libya and Russia, we will begin, perhaps, from the first moment. If you look closely at Syria’s device, both political and economic, it is in some way similar to Russia. Our country is also multi-religious. In our country, there are also inter-ethnic and inter-confessional problems. This is especially acute in the republics of the North Caucasus, in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, now, unfortunately, in some places even in Siberia, Yakutia.
If we analyze the events in Syria, then very bad parallels can be drawn with Russia. The same activation of the Salafi-Wahhabi project in these republics that I have mentioned is evident. This is the same growth of national radical right-wing ideas among already Russian-speaking citizens, as a response to the threat. That is, in Russia they are trying to simply pit the population, as it did in Syria, and what it led to. Emissaries are contaminated, they are trying to subordinate mosques to themselves and to make propaganda, Salafi-Wahhabi Islam out of normal secular Islam. And the sponsors are absolutely the same - Saudi Arabia and Qatar. What they did in Syria, so they do in Russia.
For example, one of the most authoritative sheikhs of the Salafist-Wahhabi Islam, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spoke directly about Russia “Moscow is now the number one enemy of Islam and Muslims, because it opposes the Syrian people. More than thirty thousand Syrians were killed. What kind of weapon? Russian weapons! But when the army of Saudi Arabia, for example, with American weapons destroys the Bahrets peaceful protestors (citizens of another country!), Sheikh Qaradawi is silent. But about the Russian, and in fact still Soviet weapons, with which the Syrian army is destroying the terrorists, Qaradawi stared. Why did it happen? Will this gentleman prejudice his very loud assessments?
As for Russian aid to Syria, it is very high in diplomatic terms. Together with China, we vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council, which provided for disastrous consequences for Syria. We provide economic assistance. Maybe it is really insufficient, but it should be understood that Syria is the last barrier to destabilization in Russia and Iran, in particular. If, God forbid, something bad happens here, for example, there will be external aggression, then we will be next. It is absolutely clear where and to which this all leads.
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