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memri
May 9, 2016 No.
6421

Syrian Opposition, Arab Writers: The U.S. Has A Hand In Aleppo Situation; The Syrians Are Being Slaughtered While The Arab World Does Nothing

The massive attack on Aleppo by the Syrian regime with the help of the Russian air force, which began immediately following the end of the recent round of talks in Geneva, brokered by UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, between the delegations of the Syrian opposition and regime, sparked many responses from the Syrian opposition and the countries that support it. Alongside the expected condemnation of the Assad regime and its allies, Russia and Iran,[1] there was also harsh criticism against the U.S., and especially against President Obama. The writers stated that Obama declares his support for the Syrian people, but in practice does nothing and even prevents aid from reaching the Syrian opposition, as part of an American-Russian plot to prop up the Assad regime. Most of the accusations were based on an April 28, 2016 report in the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, according to which the U.S. has "vetoed" the arming of the Syrian opposition and has prevented Arab and other regional states, especially "a large country in the Gulf" (i.e., Saudi Arabia), from arming the opposition with quality weapons and from sending it reinforcements.[2]  Criticism was also directed at the Arab and Muslim world for standing idly by and capitulating to the American dictates.

The following are excerpts from some of these responses:

Criticism Of The Obama Administration

Syrian Journalist: Obama Is A Racist Liar, His Nobel Peace Prize Should Be Taken Away From Him

Syrian journalist Hanadi Al-Khatib called to revoke Obama's Nobel peace prize because, throughout the five years of the Syrian crisis, he has not lifted a finger to help the Syrian people and has even cooperated with the Assad regime and with Russia and Iran. She wrote: "American president Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, less than nine months after his inauguration as president. Today, after he has spent eight years in the White House, it seems totally incredible that the Nobel Peace Prize is still in the hands of this American president, who [sat back] watching the sea of Syrian blood, and whose policy was a major factor in [creating] it...

"Obama, who is preparing to leave the White House after governing the world's largest superpower for eight years, has begun issuing a series of confessions and apologies for his political mistakes... These apologies are not a product of his conscience that has suddenly awakened, for if this were the case, he would be apologizing day and night to the Syrians whose death he viewed live on TV in the White House for over five years. Had the conscience of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate awakened, he would have admitted that he was complicit in every drop of blood spilled in Syria by Bashar Al-Assad, Iran and Russia...

"The US is governed today by a racist president, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who lies to the world using the word 'democracy'. This is a president who quickly washes his hands of the Syrians' blood, refuses to establish a safe zone, [sits by and] watches as ISIS - which he claims to be fighting - flourishes and grows for four years, expels the refugees, and boasts to the Syrians that he may possibly take in a few thousand refugees, [and this] while his ambassadors around the world expel the Syrians unless they can demonstrate that they have thousands of dollars in their bank account...

"Mr. Obama, what have you done for world peace that justifies your Nobel Prize? They say you did something for the American people. In the Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, Mother Fatima, in her tent, did much more for 50 Syrian children than you ever did for them, and this without the help of the American treasury. Have you and the Nobel [Prize committee] ever heard of her?... The Nobel Prize should go to the children of Syria, and to the people of Turkey and Greece, who provided them with what the entire world did not provide. Obama [is a] liar. Oh deceitful world, take Obama's Nobel Prize away from him."[3]

Syrian High Negotiations Committee: There Is A Russian-American Plot Against The Syrian People

The Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said in a May 1, 2016 statement: "There is a Russian-American plot that helps the Syrian regime and enables Iran's militias and mercenaries... to attack the Syrian people."[4]

Syrian journalist 'Amer Huweidi wrote in a similar vein: "...Some believe we should thank the U.S. for its (false) positions or role in support of the Syrians, but in reality we, and everyone else, should know that the U.S. had a hand in the events in Aleppo and in triggering them... This is not an American surrender to Russia, but rather an understanding between them. The U.S. claims that it is a friend of the Syrian people and supports the Syrian revolution, but all its actions serve the regime." As an example, Huweidi cited the U.S.'s objections to establishing a safe zone in Northern Syria; its refusal to arm the opposition with quality weapons and anti-aircraft guns; the agreement for cessation of hostilities that left out Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIS and merely serves the regime; the talks about a ceasefire in the regime strongholds of Latakia and Damascus but not in Aleppo and Idlib, and more.[5]

According to Syrian writer Dr. 'Imad Buzu, the talks in Geneva between the opposition and regime under U.S. and Russian sponsorship were merely a cover, while on the ground the U.S. was putting extreme pressure on the opposition by withholding arms from it and closing the Jordanian and Turkish borders, in order to weaken its hand in future talks. At the same time the regime and its allies enjoyed a free hand to operate. According to him this was "a plot... and therefore any crime committed during this period constitutes a war crime... and a crime against humanity. Partners to this crime include anyone responsible for these talks, including President Putin, Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov, Russian envoy [Mikhail] Bogdanov, President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, as well as UN Special Envoy [Staffan] de Mistura and his advisors... If these talks were merely a charade, then a greater crime than this cannot be imagined, especially in light of the hundreds of dead..." He wondered "what is the legal status of those who could stop this massacre [in Aleppo] and did not do so - such as the current American administration, that not only failed to make a true effort to rescue the Syrian people but did everything to prevent any country or element from providing true and effective aid to the Syrian people, while ignoring the tens of thousands of foreign militia [fighters] that entered Syria to help the Assad gang commit its crimes..."[6]

Hisham 'Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Ziyani, a columnist for the Bahraini daily Akhbar Al-Khaleej, wrote that the attack on Aleppo was the continuation of the Western-Iranian plot to exterminate the Sunnis: "From day to day it becomes clearer that the Russian withdrawal from Syria was nothing but an illusion that the Russians sold to the Arabs and the West. This [fake] withdrawal, which was demanded by [various] countries including the U.S., indicates that there is a Western-Russian agreement to support the fascist and blood-soaked Syrian regime, as part of a Crusader-Safavid [i.e., Western-Iranian] pact to exterminate the Syrian people...


The "world's silence" allows Assad to target Aleppo with Russian and Iranian support (Al-Sharq, Saudi Arabia, May 2, 2016)

"The U.S. plotted with Russia to hand Syria to Iran and exterminate the Sunnis. The U.S. is the chief supporter of the events [in Syria]. It is the one that ordered and agreed... to continue the ongoing bloody [acts] of murder, without the UN Security Council or the EU acting. This was all agreed upon [in advance].

"The Crusader-Safavid war in the region is as clear as the noonday sun - [it involves an] American green light, Russian implementation, [action by the] Safavid-Iranian and Iraqi militias, as well as the militias of the Party of Satan [i.e. Hizbullah], silence on the part of the Security Council silence and inaction by the EU..."[7]

Syrian Journalist: "Obama the Butcher of Aleppo"

In an article titled "Obama the Butcher of Aleppo," posted on the Syrian opposition website orient-news.net, Syrian journalist Ghassan Yassin wrote: "It is clear to everyone that it is the Russian planes that are bombarding Aleppo, together with the remnants of the Assad regime's air force [that uses] chemical [weapons]. However, could Russia have committed its crime without clear and explicit American consent?!

"After the Vienna understandings,[8] the coordination between the Russians and Americans became more evident, and it [even] emerged that their approaches and objectives were perfectly aligned...

"The U.S. wants to punish the opposition for its rejection a year ago of the American plan for training and arming opposition fighters [who would fight only] ISIS and refrain from fighting what remained of the forces of the Assad regime ... Russia, as the loyal ally of Assad, willingly carries out this punishment, which matches its perception that anyone fighting Assad is a terrorist who must be defeated.

"By means of the Russian airstrikes, the U.S. also wants to pressure the [opposition's] High Negotiations Committee to return to the negotiations table in Geneva and to accept the Russian-American proposal to form a national unity government that includes Bashar Al-Assad - [a proposal] that completely contravenes the Geneva I and II declarations that clearly mandate the forming of a transitional governing body with full authority...

"In their declarations [the American officials] demand and emphasize the political solution, but [in practice] they implement the military solution against the opposition and the [Syrian] citizens, in order to force them to accept their concept of a solution, namely that we must accept Assad's [continued presence] and free ourselves to fight ISIS..."[9]


Cartoon on Syrian opposition website: Obama the butcher (Orient-nes.net, April 30, 2016)

Criticism Of The Arab And Muslim World

Alongside the condemnations of the U.S., criticism was also directed at the Arab and Muslim world, including at the Arab League, for failing to help Aleppo. The HNC said in its statement that the Arab League was "absent from the Syrian arena."[10] HNC delegation head Asa'ad Al-Zou'bi, said: "We do not absolve anyone of responsibility for the events in Syria, including the Arab League, since it [should be] the first to address the Syrian issue, provide us with weapons and equipment, and confront the Russian-American-Iranian plot..."[11] He said further: "We do not trust the Arab League, which has disregarded Iran's interference [in Syria]."[12]

Syrian journalist Khalil Al-Miqdad wrote: "The [Arab and Muslim] nation has been standing by for five years while the people of Syria were butchered... Some [of its members] even paid for Putin's and Assad's bombs and missiles that are killing the Muslims in Syria and did everything they could to buy the loyalty of the armed factions, divide the Syrians, and spread hostility among them, for the sake of Assad and his regime, instead of uniting [the Syrians]...

"Iran gathered foreigners from all over the world and sent its forces [to Syria] in broad daylight, allowing [them] to take Syrian land and [spill] Syrian blood, and Russia did the same. Would they have done this had they not been certain that the Muslim and Islamic position was feeble and could not oppose them or even support the Syrians?..."[13]

  
The world sits watching the attack on Aleppo that was prepared by Israel, planned by Russia and executed by Iran (Al-Sharq, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2016)

Syrian journalist Iyad 'Issa directed his accusations at Saudi Arabia and Turkey, saying that they had capitulated to American dictates and had prevented the arming of the Syrian opposition. He wrote that Iran, which supports Assad, possesses the courage that its opponents lack. While it dared to directly intervene militarily in Syria, "Ankara and Riyadh hesitated to do so and avoided arming the rebels with quality weapons, bowing to Putin's threats and Obama's instructions. This, despite Putin's inability to enter into a true war of attrition in Syria and the fact that Obama's presidential authority to effectively penalize them had expired. Moscow and Tehran are undoubtedly empowered by the hesitance of the Turkish-Saudi alliance, which missed its opportunity to topple Assad by military means due to the delusions of a political solution..."[14]

In addition to criticizing the Arab states, some writers also called on them, especially on Saudi Arabia and the Islamic alliance it has formed to combat terrorism, to act in Syria. 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, the former editor of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote: "The massive devastation [in Aleppo] should motivate the countries that, throughout the dark years of the war, stood by [watching] the extermination of the Syrian people and the ethnic cleansing. It is unthinkable that the Gulf states should remain silent and accept this unprecedented escalation. The Syrian people has no one left [to help it]..."[15]

Bahraini columnist Hisham 'Abd Al-Wahhab Al-Ziyani: "It is very sad that the international community, as well as Arab and Islamic countries, remain apathetic in the face of the Crusader and Safavid [i.e., Iranian] war to exterminate Syrian Sunnis... When the aerial war against the Syrian rebels started, they should have been given anti-aircraft guns so that the revolution could win, but everyone avoided this after the U.S. threatened to stop arms deals with Arab and Muslim countries if they delivered U.S.-made anti-aircraft guns to the rebels.

"Qatar's demand to convene an urgent Arab League summit is good, but what can the Arab League do when the [opposing] positions of the foreign ministers of Iraq, Lebanon, and Algeria are known [in advance], as is [the position] of a particular Gulf state [i.e., Oman]... What is funny and sad [at the same time] is the emergence of a Crusader-Safavid war in the region. [This war] will be deterred by nothing except an Islamic coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which we hope will take a [decisive] position on the events in Syria and Iraq."[16]

Writer Dr. Khaled Mamdouh Al-'Azi wrote on a Syrian opposition website: "...The Arab and Islamic world has not heard of [a single] Arab or Muslim state that summoned the Russian ambassador in order to convey its opposition to his country's actions in Syria and to the massacre that is happening in Aleppo with Russia's direct participation and support... It is time that the Arab force established in Saudi Arabia, which was named "Northern Thunder," fulfills its role of intimidating foreigners in order to defend Arab and Sunni peoples that have become live targets for Iran, Russia, the U.S. and Israel."[17]

 

Endnotes:

[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6413, Saudi Columnist Following Pulverizing Of Aleppo: Assad Is The No. 1 Terrorist; Is Putin Any Different From Al-Baghdadi? Is Khamenei More Humane Than Al-Zawahiri?, May 5, 2016.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), April 28, 2016.

[3] Orient-news.net, May 1, 2016.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 1, 2016.

[5] All4syria.info, May 2, 2016.

[6] Orient-news.net, May 2, 2016.

[7] Akhbar Al-Khaleej (Bahrain), May 1, 2016.

[8] The reference is to the understandings reached during the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) deliberations in Vienna on October 30, 2015 and November 14, 2015, which called for the establishment of a transitional governing body within six months from the start of peace agreement talks  between the Syrian parties, the drafting of a new constitution and elections within 18 months.

[9] Orient-news.net, April 30, 2016.

[10] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 1, 2016.

[11] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 1, 2016.

[12] Champress.net, May 1, 2016.

[13] Orient-news.net, May 3, 2016.

[14] Orient-news.net, May 1, 2016.

[15] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), April 30, 2016.

[16] Akhbar Al-Khaleej (Bahrain), May 1, 2016.

[17] All4syria.info, May 3, 2016.