“Too much blood”
The civil war in Syria is gradually covering the whole country. Fighting is underway in Idlib, Aleppo, on the outskirts of Damascus. The quietest places remain coastal Tartus, Druze areas in the south and, oddly enough, Sunni Hama, in 1982, became the scene of fierce battles between the government army and the Muslim Brotherhood. At the end of last week, a suburb of the capital, Darayya, was captured by government troops and held by militants for several months. Before the war, this city had the largest market for office equipment and computers in Syria. The population consisted mainly of the petty bourgeoisie, led a prosperous lifestyle. Now the city is almost completely destroyed, charred, gaping holes from artillery shells of the building resemble the destroyed European cities at the end of the Second World War.
It is interesting to consider the scheme of military operations in modern Syria. Initially, the militants of the Syrian Free Army or the Jabhat al-Nusra group seep into the settlements and begin to restore order: they kill activists who collaborate with the regime, loot, force women, announce mobilization of young men in their units (this mobilization can be avoided by paying the ransom field commander of the SSA). The population, of course, calls on the government to ensure security. Army units begin the blockade of the city, leaving a corridor or several corridors for the retreat of civilians. Shelling from tanks and heavy artillery begins when civilians leave the city to avoid unnecessary casualties. Therefore, the cleaning of settlements is slow.
The big mistake of the government forces is that they do not hold positions occupied with combat. After cleaning the settlement of the militants and the destruction of most of the buildings, the army leaves. While the city remains deserted, everything is fine. But over time, homeless people return, stretch the electrical cable into the ruins of houses, make wells for water and begin to occupy the ruins. This happened, in particular, in the Homs Baba-Amro neighborhood, destroyed at the beginning of 2012. Recently, residents began to return there. Having received state funds for the restoration of houses, they began to establish a peaceful life. Immediately, militants appeared in the city. It is still in a small amount, but not the fact that Homs will not have to be cleaned again.
A huge role is also played by the persistence and fanaticism of the militants. The armed opposition consists of about one hundred thousand people. At the same time, two large armed groups stand out: the Syrian Free Army (SSA) and the radical Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is actually an al-Qaeda branch. At the same time, takfirists, as radical Islamists are called here, have at their disposal more than half of the fighters and two thirds weapons.
It should be noted that the civil war in Syria is increasingly acquiring the features of inter-religious confrontation. In the ranks of the Syrian army, the Alawites, Christians, Druze, secular-minded Sunnis come across, although they are a minority. Among the opponents of Assad - only Sunnis. Mostly Syrian jihadists are from the rural or urban underclass. The property and educational level of these people is very low. Most of them derive information about the world from the sermons of the Salafi imams, in particular, Sheikh Adnan al-Arur. This Wahhabi preacher was scandalously known for his fatwa, in which he approved rape of Alawite women. The following fact speaks about the erudition of these people: in one of the districts, the militants stopped a car in which a well-known opposition figure, Luay Hussein, the leader of the Coalition for the Construction of a New State, was driving, and tried to shoot a dissident. Then he began to show his party ID. It turned out that none of the extremists can read and can not understand what is written in the document.
According to various estimates, the fifteen thousand militants are Mujahideen, who arrived from abroad. Currently, jihadists from 27 countries are fighting in Syria. Leading the number of "volunteers" Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia. There are also militants from Tunisia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Egypt, Sudan and other countries. Some of them are ingeniously confident that they are fighting with the Israeli army in Palestine. “We kill seventy to one hundred foreign fighters a day, but more and more new ones arrive. They want to find a martyr's death in battle, and they expect that after their death, they are provided with a paradise with Gurias, ”said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at a meeting with the Russian delegation.
A positive point is the disappointment of local residents in action films, a departure from their positions. Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, who treated patients in the areas occupied by the militants, spoke about their priorities: “Most of them do not even need money and material wealth. The main thing for them is the creation of bases and women whom they forcibly seize from local residents. ” According to Khalil, the level of support for the Mujahideen among the peaceful inhabitants has decreased from fifty to ten percent. When asked if he would like to live in the world of Jabhat al-Nusra, Khalil categorically replied: “No, there is too much blood”.
War and faith: how in the name of the purity of Islam mosques are destroyed
Convinced opponents of the Mujahideen are representatives of traditional Syrian confessions. “Since the outbreak of hostilities, about 500 mosques have been destroyed,” Ahmed Badraddin al-Hassoun, the mufti of Syria (Sunni), told the Russian delegation. According to him, militants in Aleppo burned or plundered (possibly for sale) hundreds of unique medieval Muslim theological manuscripts. Near the mufti in the fall of 2011, extremists killed a student’s son. “After I said at the funeral of my son that I forgive his murderers,” al-Hassun says, “the radicals sent me a letter saying that they did not repent of the crime and did not need my forgiveness.”
The last crime of militants in Damascus was the explosion of the al-Iman mosque on March 21, which killed 25 believers, including 84-year-old imam Mohammed Said Ramadan al-Buti. Imam al-Buti was the most authoritative Sunni theologian of Syria, and the crime committed by terrorists shook the whole country.
The official Sunni clergy are pro-government positions. However, Christian churches provide even stronger support to the ruling regime. Christians understand that in case of victory of the “rebels” half of them will be destroyed. The rest will inevitably become second-class citizens in the new Syria. The Russians were told about the persecution of Christians by extremists by the Russians, Metropolitan Luke, who occupies important positions in the Antioch Orthodox Church. According to him, militants attacked Orthodox churches in Zabadani and Kharaste. And in Haraste and Hama priests were taken hostage. On the question of whether Christians are fighting in the ranks of the PAS, his Eminence categorically answered: “No. True, Michelle Kilo and George Sabra are present in the new opposition coalition. They are absolutely secular, non-church people, and after they have formed an alliance with the Salafis, we no longer consider them to be ours. ” Metropolitan Luke, like President Bashar al-Assad, is confident that the revival of the Middle East will begin in Syria, if, of course, it manages to survive in an undeclared war. The Baath government of the country is guilty of many mistakes and crimes in the past, but now, by its principled defense of equality and religious freedoms, the secular nature of the state, it involuntarily commands respect. Many people from the Syrian elite at the hands of terrorists killed children, brothers and other relatives. Syria is currently the only secular state in the region. Building a just society in which “God is for everyone and homeland for all”, where differences are respected and there is no place for hatred and fanaticism, can begin with Syria “according to God's will” (bi amry-lla), as Metropolitan Luke said.
It is no coincidence that many Syrians, tired of intolerance, show solidarity with refugees affected by hostilities. The meeting with the Russian delegation was attended by the Minister for National Reconciliation, the leader of the Syrian National Socialist Party, Ali Haydar (by the way, a former dissident who had spent several years in prisons under Asadedestr). According to him, about a million refugees from Aleppo (mostly Sunnis) have found shelter in the coastal zone, known as the Alawite belt. The minister stressed that there are no problems between old-timers and refugees, and residents of coastal regions share with settlers what they can.
Who adds fuel to the Syrian fire
Despite the constant reports of terrorist attacks by opponents of Assad, the Western elites continue to insist on lifting the embargo on the supply of weapons to the rebels. (However, for Qatar, for example, this embargo never existed). At the EU summit in Brussels, which took place on 14 in March, the United Kingdom and France raised the issue of official military assistance to the SSA fighters. At the same time, French President Hollande and British Prime Minister Cameron insisted that the weapon should fall into the good hands of the “right insurgents”: as if they do not know which detachment of irreconcilable opposition is the most combat-ready. Their more prudent colleagues from Germany, Austria and Sweden managed to block the decision on military assistance.
Syrian President Bashar Assad claims that Turkey and Qatar are primarily to blame for the Syrian tragedy. Even some leaders of the Syrian opposition in exile are beginning to oppose the dictatorship of the latter. On March 24, the head of the National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, Moaz al-Khatib, announced his resignation in protest against the policy of Doha, "willing to buy and subjugate the Syrian opposition." It is noteworthy that before that he had condemned the terrorist attack against Imam Buti. The decision of al-Khatib is caused by the persistent intentions of Qatar and the United States to appoint the American citizen Gassan al-Hitto, who was a successful high-tech specialist in the past, to be the temporary prime minister of Syria. Creating a puppet government in the "liberated" enclave in northern Syria will completely block the possibilities of dialogue between the government and the opposition. But the need for such a dialogue is insisted on by UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and al-Khatyb himself.
In these conditions, it affects the myopia and infantilism of the Syrian secular emigration. These intelligent people, educated in European universities, think that after the overthrow of Assad they will be met in Damascus with flowers and carpets, that they will form a new Syrian elite in the conditions of the market and liberal democracy. In fact, to rule the ball in what remains of Syria will be bearded men with machine guns, for whom the Westernized Syrian intellectuals are as godless as the Baathists. President Bashar Assad noted in this connection that Western countries were in a very unpleasant situation in Syria. In fact, there are two scenarios. If the current secular Syria is victorious, then its leadership and people will never believe the United States and its allies and become the bastion of the anti-globalization struggle in the Middle East. If the irreconcilable opposition wins, then Syria will come under the control of al-Qaeda for a long time. It is not surprising, says Assad, that the West is trying to find a third option and help the "moderate rebels" who are not in nature. The president sees the cause of the “civilized world” war against Syria in the fact that at the beginning of the two thousand years he refused to compromise with the West over the support of the Palestinians and refused to curtail relations with Russia and Iran.
By the way, the Syrian crisis led to a significant deterioration in Iran-Qatar relations. According to the American political analyst of Iranian origin, Kave Afrasiabi, "Doha must be careful in its gambling in Syria, because Tehran’s patience is not infinite." Note that before that, good relations established between the countries, and the Emir of Qatar even tried to act as an intermediary in the informal dialogue between Iran and the United States.
Tehran believes that the main reason for Qatar’s stubbornness in the Syrian issue is the new gas geopolitics. The emirate seeks to prevent the construction of the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline. Disruption of gas supplies from Iran to the Mediterranean coast will leave Qatar a monopolist in the region. Iran is already observing with displeasure the accelerated development of the Northern Dome field by the Qatari, the Iranians who seem to be short of funds to invest in.
It is difficult to predict who will win in the bloody Syrian conflict. Too great a force abandoned against little Syria. However, in any case, supporters of Assad, who fight the terrorists, can be called moral winners. Do not forget that Syria is part of the biblical holy land, and its advocates are becoming more and more like the fearless David, the unsurpassed power of the giant Goliath.