Destabilizing Syria - by Stephen Lendman
What began in January escalated to an uprising in March. Ever since, it's been violent, disruptive and widespread, killing hundreds, and injuring many more.
The stakes are high. The entire region is affected. It's very similar to what began in Libya, pitting imperial powers against ruling governments for destabilization and control.
In Libya, it's by war for regime change, colonization and plunder. In Syria, it's to establish another client state, no matter who heads it. More on that below.
On August 3, Joshua Landis' Syria Comment site (joshualandis.com) headlined, "The Armed Gangs Controversy," saying:
Some analysts say "Syrian soldiers are killing fellow soldiers (for disobeying orders), not opposition elements." In fact, nothing proves it. "Most evidence supports government statements that armed opposition elements (are) shooting security personnel."
In April in Banyas, the controversy first surfaced when nine soldiers were killed outside the city. Western media reports about fellow soldiers shooting them were false. Col. Uday Ahmad, brother-in-law of one of the dead, there at the time, said:
"(T)wo military trucks were ambushed as they crossed a highway bridge by well armed men," hiding on the ground and on rooftops. "They raked the two trucks with automatic fire, killing nine. The incident had nothing to do with soldiers refusing orders."
Other shooting reports were similar, involving armed militants, non-Syrian insurgents, responsible for much killing, Western media falsely blaming Syria's military and police. At the same time, most opposition forces are nonviolent, caught between hostile sides.
In Hama, for example, independent video footage contradicts major media reports. It shows opposition elements throwing bodies of soldiers into the Asi River, north of the city.
In fact, a CNN Arwa Damon/Nada Husseini August 2 report (a notable major media exception, perhaps airing only on CNN International) said:
"One prominent anti-government activist (unnamed for reasons of safety) told CNN the state TV account was correct. The bodies are those of Syrian secret police killed by Syrian fighters from Iraq who have joined the anti-government fight," based on information gotten "from an extensive network of informants."
Violent insurgents aren't part of the protest movement. They're destabilizing interventionist forces from outside, responsible for lots of killing.
Of course, violence begets more of it. Opposition elements incite it. Government forces respond, and nonviolent civilians are caught in the crossfire.
Landis believes the regime is resilient and will keep fighting, its military having "many advantage(s) over the fragmented opposition." It's "unlikely" to collapse or "fade away." Fighting will continue until one side or the other prevails. Had the Assad government "been willing to hand over power peacefully or establish some sort of constitutional convention, it would have done so already."
The longer fighting continues, the worse off Syrians will be. Many already face economic hardships, exacerbated by months of conflict, disrupting their lives, besides the human toll.