The developments on the Turkish-Syrian border were the main object of interest of the concerned international and regional circles. And while Erdogan’s government firstly threatened with war, it recanted these threats later on and alleviated its tone, while continuously confirming it did not want war with Syria.
Firstly, the Turkish escalation – that was extremely confused in determining the source of the shell which was said to have exploded inside the Turkish territories – surfaced right after the emergence of signs pointing to the bankruptcy of the armed gangs in Aleppo. About two weeks ago, the Turkish leaders thought that these gangs will be able to address a lethal blow to the Syrian state, but the Syrian Arab Army was able to contain their terrorist activities and regain control over the situation on all the fronts inside of Syria. As to the suicide operations in the city of Aleppo, they constituted a desperate blow staged by a failed plan, and were not part of a military move on the field. Indeed, according to the information, the armed terrorist gangs are witnessing increasing divisions and defections, while the armed Syrian elements are fleeing to their towns and villages and even addressing the families’ dignitaries to arrange their surrender and disarmament to benefit from the pardon opportunity. As for the foreign fighters, many of whom were killed, their remnants are spreading throughout Syria to prepare a long-term war of terror against the state, people and army.
Secondly, the Turkish threats aimed at lifting the collapsed morale and at fixing the situation endured by the terrorist gangs. Nonetheless, these efforts failed, as the Syrian people who proved to enjoy a high level of awareness and who rallied around their national state, seem to be more motivated than ever to deter the terrorist plan. In the meantime, the popular factions which were influenced by the propaganda of the opposition a year and a half ago, are now turning towards the state and rallying once again around the army and the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad, in light of the facts they were able to uncover and the political awareness they accumulated as a result to their suffering. Even the so-called revolution coordination committees which acted as apparatuses to lead the rebellion since the beginning of the events, they have started to rebel in most regions and adopt positions calling for disarmament to respond to the dialogue calls as the only way to solve the crisis. Some of them are even handling direct negotiations with the security sides to arrange the status of the armed men and ensure the surrendering of their weapons to the official state apparatuses. Because this Syrian transformation is real, Erdogan could not end it with an aggression that led to completely opposite results. Indeed, the Turkish attack fueled Syrian patriotism in the face of a hostile foreign harassment, using the domestic crisis to undermine the Syrian state.
Thirdly, Erdogan’s attempt to lure NATO into war on Syria through direct military invasion failed. And just as it had happened following the downing of a Turkish plan, a statement issued by NATO called for the calm and wise handling of the border skirmishes, and did not humor the Turkish threat to wage war. In the meantime, the strongest blow to Erdogan’s illusions came from the Security Council which was forced to issue a statement condemning the terrorist attacks in Aleppo and naming Al-Qaeda network by name, which supported the Syrian viewpoint and weakened the momentum of the hostile campaigns against Syria. Erdogan perceives some European positions which recently emerged in regard to the dispatch of the diplomatic missions to Syria again with great suspicion, as he knows that the West is suffering defeat and seeking safety rafts, without being concerned about those whom it implicated in costly choices and positions. Erdogan is also detecting that reality in the ongoing Turkish debate surrounding the cost of the predicament in Syria on the economic, political and security levels.
Syria is ready to deter any attack and its allies are not idle, especially following the regional transformation which resulted from the Iraqi-Iranian pacts. As for the allies of the government of Ottoman illusion inside NATO, they wish to distance themselves from any new venture which might have dire consequences, while its Qatari and Saudi allies have no armies, and only enjoy some funds allocated to destroy the Syrian strength. For their part, the Muslim Brotherhood organizations that are in power in Gaza, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, they are useless. Indeed, they are cheering Erdogan and encouraging him to become involved, at a time when they are afraid of the results and repercussions on their domestic arenas in case they were to engage in the alliance of aggression against Syria. This situation might continue for a long time on the Syrian-Turkish border, but what is certain is that the adventure will be extremely costly for Erdogan. His American and NATO masters on the other hand are seeking an exit strategy from the impossible Syrian predicament.
Middle East News analysis
The times of victories
Since October 6, 1973 God gave the Arabs a man who restored their lost glory, considering that for a thousand years before that, the Arabs had been seeking a victory that would restore their place in the sun.
This man mobilized all his strength to terrorize the enemy of God and our enemy, thus reading the Koran and drawing inspiration from the Holy Prophet.
In his face, all the mountains dissipated without him faltering. They thus fought him on behalf of the sons of Israel.
He built an army to fight them and their followers, and now this army which inaugurated the times of victories is achieving – alongside the resistance – more resounding victories, causing the escalation of the conspiracies.
But this army proceeded with its victories, fighting with the hands of God and offering martyrs while carrying the banner of the Arabs so that it remains high.
It is alone fighting a thousand armies of greed, money, media, false fatwas and collapsing states.
The army of victories will conquer and do justice to its founder and leader.
We salute Hafez al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad and the martyrs and men of the Syrian Arab army, in the times of Arab weakness and defeat.
During the inauguration of the first session of the Syrian People’s Assembly, Syrian Parliament Speaker Muhammad Jihad al-Lahham called on all the parliaments around the world, which claim to be concerned about the Syrian people, to try to end the Syrian bloodshed by practicing their role and pressuring their governments, especially those directly involved in the fueling of the violence, to get them to discontinue their support to the terrorists, their harboring and the smuggling of weapons and armed mercenaries to Syria, and to encourage the Syrians to engage in political dialogue as the only way to lead Syria out of the predicament by bringing the viewpoints closer together. In his address, Al-Lahham reiterated Syria’s rejection of the West’s trading with this issue, especially since it is well aware of the fact that the terrorist groups which it supported with weapons and funds are attempting to undermine Syria’s social fabric, and carry out displacement and exclusion vis-à-vis some social and national components in it.
For his part, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem assured that Syria was cooperating with United Nations Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, stating: “The key to the success of Brahimi’s mission resides in the neighboring states that are harboring, arming and supporting both financially and on the media level the armed terrorist groups practicing violence in Syria.”
On The field, the Syrian regular troops proceeded with their qualitative operations in the city of Aleppo and its Rif, thus annihilating terrorist groups of mercenaries and destroying their headquarters and posts. At this level, four terrorist explosions occurred on the Sa’dallah al-Jaberi Square in the city of Aleppo, causing the death and injuring of dozens of people. The Ministry of Interior assured that armed terrorist groups and those supporting them carried out a series of bloody terrorist suicide operations in Aleppo. The An-Nusra Front which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda organization claimed responsibility for these acts.
Several countries condemned the terrorist explosions, while the Security Council mentioned they were “terrorist attacks carried out by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated An-Nusra Front,” thus extending its condolences to the families of the victims who fell in these horrendous operations and to the Syrian people.
In the meantime, the Syrian-Turkish border witnessed tensions following the fall of a shell launched from the Syrian territories on a Turkish village, leading to the death of at least five people and the injuring of others. For its part, Turkey escalated its artillery attacks on a Syrian border town on Thursday, resulting in the death of several Syrian soldiers. The Turkish parliament approved further military actions in case the Syrian conflict exceeded the border again.
Turkish Foreign Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a joint press conference with Iranian Vice President Mohamed Reza Rahimi: “All we want in this region is peace and security. This is our intention. We do not intend to wage war on Syria.”
At the United Nations, the statement issued by Russia assured: “The Security Council member states called on both sides to exercise self-restraint and avoid military clashes which could lead to greater escalation on the border between Syria and Turkey.” The non-binding statement – in case it is approved by both neighbors – called for the “containment of the tensions and the seeking of a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.”
At this level, Syrian Ambassador at the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari said that his country was not “seeking escalation with any of its neighbors, including Turkey.” He indicated that the Syrian government extended it “deepest condolences” to Ankara and opened a “serious investigation to uncover the source of this fire,” knowing that this investigation is not yet over.
Jordanian Monarch King Abdullah II issued a royal decree to disband parliament and call for early parliamentary elections.
In the meantime, the Muslim Brotherhood group called for wide-scale demonstrations to demand constitutional reforms.
On Friday, thousands of people took to the streets in the center of the capital Amman to respond to that call, under the headline of “Friday to save the country” to demand reforms. The organizers of another demonstration loyal to the regime in Jordan announced on Thursday the postponement of their activities which were supposed to be held on Friday, in order for them not to coincide with the Muslim Brotherhood demonstration, indicating that the march was postponed until further notice to “avoid strife.”
In the meantime, Jordanian websites continued to post the statements of parties, dignitaries and social forces, warning against anything which might affect “civil peace.”
Muslim Brotherhood calls for Jordanian Spring
Since Tuesday, the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque have been witnessing clashes between the occupation police and the worshippers, following a religious provocation carried out by the settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem against the Muslims and Christians alike. Indeed, following the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Jewish extremist groups to perform Talmudic rituals, extremist settlers carried out a new attack against a Christian Church in Jerusalem and wrote racist slogans that are offensive to Prophet Isa, Peace Be Upon Him, featuring threats to “pay the price.”
On Friday, the Israeli occupation troops stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque square in the occupied Eastern Jerusalem following the prayer, after having imposed a tight siege around the city and obstructed the movement of the worshippers under the pretext of the Jewish holidays. They thus attacked the worshippers, leading to the suffocation of dozens due to the launching of tear gas bombs to disperse the believers. Violent clashes consequently erupted between the Israeli troops and hundreds of Palestinians on the Al-Aqsa Mosque square.
Mitt Romney came ahead of Barack Obama in the first televised debate in the United States. This issue occupied the main headlines of the Israeli papers issued this week, pushing the papers to say that following the debate in which Obama suffered a crushing defeat, he tried to recollect his strength and attack Romney by describing him as being a liar. Romney on the other hand enjoyed a sense of humor and seemed extremely sharp. In that same context, Haaretz assured that the supporters of the Republican Party were the main American financiers who donated money in favor of the electoral campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netantyahu during the competition over the chairmanship of the Likud, whether this year or in the previous years, but also over the government premiership. This year, they are the ones who offered donations in support of Republican Candidate Mitt Romney. The papers then pointed to the total severance between Netanyahu and the supporters of the American Democratic Party led by Barack Obama.
On the other hand, Yediot Aharotot cautioned that Palestine was heading towards a third Intifada against Israel due to the political vacuum endured by the Palestinian people, the weakness of the Palestinian authority and the revolutions witnessed throughout the Arab region, stressing the necessity of supporting the Palestinian authority and adopting a political initiative.
The papers also tackled the escalating disputes between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. At this level, Yediot Aharonot quoted sources close to Barak as saying that the prime minister harmed Israel by supporting Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the American presidential elections, as this angered the White House.
The joint parliamentary committees are meeting twice a week to discuss the electoral draft laws, without being able to determine the nature of the electoral system and the number of constituencies amid acute divisions in regard to these two points.
At this level, Parliament Speaker Nabih Birri said to As-Safir: “The ongoing debates and disputes over the electoral law, whether inside or outside the parliamentary committees, are political folklore accompanied by a lot of expected commotion. Once all the sides are depleted and tired, the productive talk can start and I will have my say in regard to this issue.” Birri considered that some wanted the electoral law to produce a parliamentary majority tailored to their size, and allowing them not only to bring a president of the republic, but also a parliament speaker and a prime minister.
As for Prime Minister Najib Mikati, he stated to As-Safir that the proportional representation law proposed by the government was the best electoral formula on the table, and that all the others will lead to national catastrophes. He thus pointed to the fact that Bkerki’s position was essential at the level of the electoral file and that its will could not be disregarded under whichever circumstances.
Head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc Deputy Muhammad Raad believed that “the March 14 team is trying – through the electoral law – to propose formulas aiming at excluding the resistance and its public from political life and the construction of the state. But they are delusional. If some are dreaming about the organization of elections in accordance with the 1960 law, we would like to tell them that these times are long gone.”
On the other hand, President of the Republic Michel Suleiman raised the issue of his defense strategy in his meetings with the Lebanese Diaspora during his tour abroad. He indicated that this strategy required the “resistance to place its weapons at the disposal of the army in the event of an Israeli attack on the Lebanese territories solely and not for any other reason, whether internal and external. These weapons would be used upon the army’s request in the event of any aggression and in accordance with the decision of the political authority. This is necessary until the state can equip the army to defend Lebanon, which might require a year or two.”
Senior Researcher at the Arab and International Center of Strategic Studies, Beirut.