The internal situation in Syria. Will Assad and the Syrian army resist in the implementation of the "Libyan scenario?"
The situation around Syria is a run-in scenario - “wave” after “wave” beat Damascus. The US authorities have introduced new sanctions against Damascus, they have expanded the list of Syrian officials, which extended the US economic sanctions. About this on Tuesday, 30 August, reported Agence France-Presse. The new US sanctions touched the Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem, advisor to the Syrian president Butain Shaaban and Syrian ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali. All assets in US banks must be frozen. In addition, US citizens were forbidden to maintain any business relationship with these individuals. Washington believes that such actions will help increase the pressure on Damascus.
Earlier, in May, the United States imposed sanctions against President Bashar Assad himself and several other high-ranking Syrian officials. 10 in August the largest Syrian bank Commercial Bank of Syria, as well as telecommunications company Syriatel, fell under the scope of US economic sanctions. That is, in fact, the United States is already waging a financial and economic war against Syria, undermining its stability through the economic sphere. It is clear that from the deterioration of the situation in the economy, the discontent of the population will increase even more.
The Syrian leadership was thinking about reforming the country, even before the Arab unrest, as early as 2005, at the congress of the ruling Baath Party, the government announced its decision to start reforms: to adopt a law on media freedom, to allow the formation of opposition parties, to make adjustments to the electoral law , to do the reform of the national economy, first of all - to demonopolize the huge oligarchic enterprises. But the words remained on paper.
The situation changed only after the country began to "shake." The authorities began frantically trying to carry out reforms, while simultaneously suppressing opposition speeches and militant attacks. It is clear that success in this situation is very difficult to achieve. Too strong players on a global scale are interested in the collapse of Syria, its complete destabilization. Many political analysts believe that the fall of the Assad regime is inevitable. Syria will be dismembered on the territory of the Alawite, the Kurds, the Sunnis and, possibly, the Druze.
Syria is a presidential republic. Its feature is a strictly hierarchical system, in which all power is concentrated in the hands of Bashar al-Assad and the top leadership of the ruling party. The Asad family rules Syria for the second generation. In the 2000 year, when Hafez al-Asad died, who ruled the state with an iron hand the previous three decades (since 1970, when he committed a coup to seize power), the young Bashar al-Assad came to power in England. Initially, the country was to be headed by the eldest son of Hafez, Basil al-Assad, but he died in a car accident in 1994. The arrival of Bashar al-Assad to power Syrians promised the beginning of reforms.
Syria is a multiparty country; all Syrian parties were required to declare their support for the leading Arab Socialist Renaissance Party’s course - PASV (Ba'ath). Deputies of parliament (250 people) are elected by direct vote for 4-year terms. All the parties led to the Syrian parliament headed by the Baath (there are seven of them in Syria) form the National Progressive Front of the Syrian state. The president, as a rule, is at the same time the general secretary of the Ba'ath party, and it is the Ba'athists who nominate him for a popular referendum. In the previous nationwide referendum, Bashar Asad received 93% votes. Syrian President is elected for 7 years, the number of terms in office is not limited. In the hands of the president of the state is concentrated control over the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
The judicial system of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) is an interesting synthesis of Islamic, Ottoman and French judicial traditions. So the basis of the legislation of the SAR is, according to the constitution, Islamic law, although the actual legislation of the country is based on the Napoleonic Code. The country's constitutional court, which is the highest judicial body, consists of 5 judges, one of whom is the head of the country of Syria, and the other four are appointed by the president himself. Therefore, various Western non-governmental organizations have repeatedly accused Damascus of the absence of a fair and independent judicial system. And also in the absence of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and other freedoms.
Since 1963, a state of emergency has been in place in the SAR, increasing the powers of the authorities, it was only recently canceled due to recent events. Authorities, law enforcement agencies exercised tight control over society.
A significant part of the SAR economy is concentrated in the hands of just about 7% of the population. Among them are the Alawites, they are the country's military and state elite, they also control most of the economy. Before the commencement of the unrest, the average salary in Syria was approximately in 200-300 dollars (which is close to the salaries in poor Russian provinces). In general, since the SAR is not very lucky with natural resources, people are not rich.
One of the big mistakes that the Syrian regime made a few years ago was the choice of the wrong way of reforming the economy, Damascus went the neoliberal way. ATS lives at the expense of oil production (public sector), industry and agriculture. The most developed Syrian industries are oil production, oil refining, electric power, gas production, phosphate mining, food, textile, chemical (production of fertilizers, various plastics), electrical engineering. Most of the national economy, which is privately owned (small farms on its own or leased land), is focused on the agricultural sector. However, the most fertile lands (between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) over the past decade have yielded relatively small yields due to droughts. As a result, farms are ruined, declining. And the authorities, having listened to the advice of experts of the neoliberal economic model (they studied in the West), began to reduce subsidies for agriculture for the purchase of fuel, the necessary equipment for the needs of land reclamation, etc.
The ATS government, instead of supporting agriculture and industrial modernization, has invested in the non-manufacturing sector. They supported the development of the banking, financial sector, various kinds of insurance companies, the service sector, and the like “office” business. Banks began to cash in on “affordable” loans to the financially illiterate population (one scenario with Russia 90-s). As a result, many Syrians went bankrupt, the gap between the rich and the poor from these reforms has only grown. By 2005, unemployment rose to 20%, among young people to 30%. In addition, the recruitment assistance program for young professionals was eliminated. Previously, the authorities were obliged to provide a graduate of a higher education institution with a job for 5 years so that he could get the necessary experience, then he could already choose whether to stay or find a new place. Now the problem of finding a job must deal with the graduate himself.
It should be noted that there are many educated people in the SAR, since The state has introduced compulsory free secondary education. In the country 4 university, in addition, a large number of Syrian citizens receive higher education abroad, mainly - in Russia and in France. In universities, the system is approximately the same as we have - there are free budget places for those who have passed the exams in schools as excellent, the rest of the young people can receive education for a fee.
The economic problems of the population are exacerbated by national and religious conflicts. Syria, like most countries of the world, is multinational and multi-religious. The main religion, as well as throughout the Middle East - Islam. At the same time, the majority of the SAR population is Sunni. The elite of the state is mainly from among the Alawites. There is a Shiite diaspora; approximately 5% of the population of Syria profess Christianity - both Orthodox (more than half) and Catholicism. Christians are in good relations with the authorities, but in the case of the Islamists coming to power, they will have to find a new homeland. The premise of the conflict is obvious - with the Sunni majority (the majority of the poor and the unemployed), all important (i.e., money) posts are occupied by Alawites. There is also a religious reason for the irritation of the Sunnis, many Sunni theologians (for example, from Saudi Arabia) do not consider Alawites as Muslims at all. This is a kind of order, which has in its ideology Islamic, Christian and Gnostic roots. Therefore, there is a question whether the army will be a reliable support for Assad, in the event of a conflict with NATO or Turkey. Already, there are reports of battles by government units with deserters. The Sunnis began to flee the army. Although, of course, the core of the army, its elite units, the country's special services will be loyal to the regimes - they are staffed with Alawite.
In the field of national relations, the same is not complete calm, although the vast majority of the population are Arabs - up to 90%. The most unstable minority are Kurds, approximately 9%. They live in the northern regions of the country, there are communities of Kurds in all major cities. There are Armenian communities in Damascus, Aleppo, Circassians, and Turkmen. The Kurds were an oppressed minority, many of them refugees from Turkey and Iraq, who did not have the right to Syrian citizenship. Currently, Damascus made concessions - part of the Kurds received Syrian passports, others expecting to receive them soon.
Who supports the destabilization of Syria?
When the unrest began in the Arab countries - the events in Tunisia and Egypt, almost all experts believed that this wave would not cover Syria. The Assad regime was considered one of the most stable and popular in the Middle East. The opposition was almost invisible. Its activation was possible only with strong support from the outside. So according to the Syrian authorities, militant groups attacking the police, army, government agencies receive weapon and ammunition from abroad. Already during the "peaceful protests" hundreds of police and military were killed. In addition, militant units skillfully use a certain tactic of action — a strike, a withdrawal to populous quarters, the army responds with punitive actions, civilians are dying, discontent grows. The weapon, according to Damascus, comes from Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan.
But the worst situation is in the information field, here Damascus loses outright. Western media, diplomats, politicians, and even the media of hostile Arab countries, can inflate any conflict to universal proportions. After the start of unrest in the Arab world, three satellite channels were aimed at Syria, their centers are located abroad and Damascus cannot block them. Some broadcasts from the territory of the UAE, the second from England, the third, according to Damascus, works in the United States ("People's Syria"). Representatives of the Syrian authorities themselves admit: "We are losing the information war." Great damage is done through the Internet, although it is limited in Syria. Syria has blocked access to Facebook, YouTube and Blogspot, as well as sites of Kurdish and Islamist movements. According to President Bashar Assad, this was done because the Syrian people have not yet reached the free Internet.
Among the sponsors of the Syrian opposition is Israel, which is vitally interested in the fall of the Syrian regime. Damascus supports the Palestinian autonomy, and the problem of the Golan Heights has not been resolved. Also among the opponents of Syria - the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States and the EU. The motives of all are different, but the goal is the same - the elimination of the Assad regime. So, Ankara wants to solve the territorial dispute over Alexandrettsky Sanjak, to prevent the creation of a new education of Kurds (like Iraqi Kurdistan), under the scenario of the collapse of Syria. For the United States, the collapse of Syria is part of a plan to "modernize" the entire Middle East and the Islamic world.
If the Assad regime collapses, then radical Islamists will most of all benefit themselves — and, above all, the Muslim Brotherhood movement. It is believed that as a result of a successful change of power, the most likely scenario is the seizure of power by the moderate wing of this organization. It should be noted that the movement "Brothers Muslims" had previously been under the great influence of the Americans, and some analysts believe that America has not lost control over this organization even now. But an even worse scenario, for Christians, Alawites of Syria, for Israel, would be the seizure of power by the radical wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. There is also the famous "al-Qaeda", also associated with Washington and London.
Also in Damascus are afraid of the collapse of the country; if Syria can be plunged into a civil war, the disintegration of the country into several parts becomes very likely.
Will Assad and the Syrian army resist under the "Libyan scenario?"
Apparently, Bashar Assad learned the lessons of Tunisia and Egypt well, and he will not give up. The scenario of escaping from the country and going into the “underground” is unlikely. Doubtful and statements that once the Syrian army is much stronger than the Libyan, NATO will not climb into Syria. The army of Iraq, or Yugoslavia, was also strong, but that did not save them.
In this regard, several factors must be considered. The West and its Middle Eastern allies do not have to destroy the army of Syria, militarily. It is enough to decompose it, split it, these processes are already running. War is the last stage, an integrated approach of the West. In Egypt and Tunisia, it was possible to shift the regimes without war. As in the USSR, other countries of the social bloc. The most important thing here is not the number of weapons and their performance characteristics, but the will of the country's leadership and command of the army. If there is a will, like Gaddafi, there will be resistance. Therefore, if the leadership of the army refuses to resist, the Assad regime will immediately collapse.
Apparently, the leadership of the army, the Alawites, decided to stand up to the stop. Otherwise, there is a high probability of genocide, or at least tough discrimination. Islamic radicals are already threatening the death of Assad, demanding his execution. This is indicated by the fact. With the law enforcement forces, the army severely suppresses all the actions of the opposition forces.
Here is the classic script:
- The army, police, special services suppress the riots of the local "fifth column", drive troops of militants.
- Information pressure on Syria is growing, even Iran and Russia have demanded reforms from Damascus. All new sanctions are being introduced. Assad and his entourage turn into a "rogue". Here is the last news on topic: August 31, human rights organization Amnesty International read out a report on the death and torture of prisoners in the SAR. According to the material, since March 2011, when mass opposition speeches began in Syria, at least 88 people died in the country's prisons. According to the human rights organization, earlier mortality among prisoners in ATS prisons did not exceed 5 people annually.
According to an investigation by human rights defenders Amnesty International, which was conducted jointly with relatives of the victims and independent experts, inmates in Syrian prisons were tortured. Traces of beatings and blows with a whip were found on the bodies of the dead, bones were broken in many bodies. The report of the organization states that many of those killed were burned with cigarettes on their torso and face, and were also tortured with electricity. All the dead were detained for participating or on suspicion of participating in opposition actions. There are no women among the dead, but there are several children, the youngest of whom were 13 years old.
- Military advisers continue to penetrate into the territory of Syria, military instructors, of course, smuggling weapons and ammunition. As a significant event - the emergence of "snipers", killing law enforcement officers; it is clear that the political opposition has nowhere to take the "professional shooters." In different regions of Syria, according to the Libyan scenario, armed gangs initiate unrest, violence and looting, trying to create a bridgehead of the Benghazi type. The army conducts "antiterrorist operations", in the course of which non-involved persons perish, and the discontent of the population increases.
- The work of the special services to split the Syrian elite is intensifying - disloyal generals and officials are processed, who are dissatisfied with B. Assad for one reason or another. It is clear that their “Vlasovs” are everywhere, they were in the Great Patriotic War, were in Iraq, are in Libya, will be found in Syria. The main task of the West is to force at the right moment to go over to the side of the “insurgent people” of several figures with their supporters. This will be called "civil war."
“When the flames of a“ civil war ”are kindled in Syria, special forces may be more actively involved. And the Assad regime, its army will be branded as "war criminals", "enemies of the human race."
- If it does not come out to dump Assad by the forces of “rebels” and the actions of “snipers” and other saboteurs, a “limited” military operation will be conducted. Perhaps, the necessary resolution will be dragged through the UN Security Council. And maybe they will not, the UN is already fiction. NATO and the United States actually already act in the style of Hitler's 30's. Here different scenarios are possible - the participation of Israel, Turkey, or their indirect assistance.
Assad has very little time left - soon the air-naval group against Libya will be free. Syria’s air defense will not stand against it, there is too much gap in technology, in military experience. But there will be no outside help. Now is not the time of the war in Korea or Vietnam, the USSR is not, and China is different. The current RF and PRC will not go into direct conflict until they are openly attacked.
After the suppression of air defense and Syrian air force bases, Turkey will apparently enter the battle, it will create a “demilitarized zone” in the north of Syria, deciding for itself the problem of the Syrian Kurds. It will be supported from the air by NATO aircraft, and there are air forces of their own. Assistance to the insurgent people - instructors, sabotage units, weapons, ammunition, constant strikes against Damascus will be strengthened ...
The further question will be only how long will Asad last. It is beneficial for us and Iran that it lasts as long as possible. During this period, Russia must strengthen its internal peace, strengthen its defense, and seek allies. It is absolutely clear that after Syria and Iran, the countries of the post-Soviet space and we will be under attack.
Reference. Armed Forces ATS. For the Syrian leadership of the Armed Forces, by virtue of their stories, were top priority. Israel is considered the main adversary, as the Syrian military has built 3 defense lines between the Golan Heights and Damascus. Strained relations with Turkey, there is a territorial dispute with Ankara - Syria claims to 4700 square. km in the area of Alexandretta. There is a conflict over the water - the Turks built a hydraulic structure in the upper reaches of the Euphrates and the water flow fell. On the territory of Syria hiding fighters banned in the Turkish state of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). The total number of armed forces - 300 thousand. People. The basis of the Armed Forces is ground forces, more than 200 thousand people, 3 corps (12 divisions - 3 mechanized divisions, 7 armored divisions, 1 special forces division, 1 division of the Republican Guard). Plus 13 individual brigades, 10 special forces regiments, 1 separate tank regiment. The armored division includes the 2 tank and 1 mechanized brigade. Guardsmen perform gendarme functions, their main task, the protection of the presidential palace, government agencies. Guard stationed in Damascus. The three missile brigades of the P-300, 9K52 Luna-M, 9K79 “Tochka” are in service. The main drawback of the ground forces and the Armed Forces as a whole is obsolete weapons, so about half of the tanks are T-54, 55, 62, and T-72 are not as good as modern armored vehicles. The basis of other armored vehicles - outdated BTR - 40 / 50 / 60, BMP-1. But the firepower is impressive: up to 5 thousand tanks, about 5 thousand units of other armored vehicles, 450 SAU, MLRS - 500 units, up to 2 thousand units of towed howitzers and mortars, more than 2500 ATGM. In service with the Air Force: about 800 aircraft, including training and transport. Their weakness is the weak training of pilots, a small number of 4-generation airplanes (including the upgraded RF MiG-29). PVO is also obsolete: there SAM short range 9K33 "Osa-AK" 9K31 "Strela-1" 9K35 "Strela-10" medium-range - 9K37 "Buk" MANPADS and memory - Boom-3, 9K38 "Igla" ZSU-23-4 "Shilka", ZU-23-2 and others. Of the new products: Russian short-range air defense systems "Armor-1С", they put 36 units. There is an order for 8 battalions of the Beech M2E air defense systems. BCM: 2 small anti-submarine ship, 4 minesweeper, 3 medium landing craft, 10 missile boats, several patrol boats, PL no. The number of personnel 7-8 thousand people. The most advanced weapons of the Syrian AFM are the 2 of the Bastion complex with the Yakhont anti-ship regiment, supplied by the Russian Federation in the 2010 year.
- Alexander Samsonov
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