Syria Is Resisting
On May 15, the UN General Assembly approved Qatar’s initiative for a new anti-Syrian resolution, as it did in August 2012. It addresses actions by the armed forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and expresses support for the coalition of opposition forces. On this occasion, however, the resolution was supported by 107 countries, with 12 voting against and 59 abstaining, whereas 133 countries voted for it in 2012. Russia naturally voted against, calling the draft unbalanced. Indeed, the resolution discusses the continuing escalation of Syrian army attacks on the civilian population and “gross violations of human rights,” but it downplays barbaric acts committed by opposition units. It is as though the entire world did not see the television footage of an FSA commander eating the heart of the dead Syrian soldier after ripping it from his chest, thereby committing a vile act of cannibalism. That evidently is no embarrassment to the main sponsor of the anti-Syrian resolution — Qatar and its Arab and Western allies. Qatar finds all methods acceptable in the fight against Assad — even eating corpses — while the legitimate regime in Damascus remains in power, despite the fact that 60% of those fighting against it are not Syrians but foreign mercenaries who receive their weapons from outside the country.
The resolution’s text welcomes the establishment of the Syrian National Coalition, which it describes as an effective and representative intermediary that is needed for a political transition. The alliance of extremists, terrorists and cannibals could not be more representative!
Everything here is clear with respect to Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This kind of thing is consistent with their humanitarian ideas. But it is somehow strange to see civilized countries, which the United States and members of the European Union consider themselves to be, in the company of those who sponsor cannibalism and terrorism. It is no coincidence that many truly civilized countries, like India, Brazil, the UAE, Indonesia and several other countries, preferred abstaining on the vote in order to stay out of the barbarians’ camp.
There is another important issue here. Whereas last year many countries fell for the promotion and handouts of the Wahhabi regime in Qatar and simply wanted to be included among the victors in the Syrian conflict when they voted for the General Assembly resolution, this time 27 fewer voted for it, not to mention the large number that abstained. That means the international community has begun losing its confidence that Assad’s legitimate government will topple. That is clear — the militants have been completely driven out of Damascus in recent weeks. Syrian forces have cleared the areas around Homs and Hama and are valiantly defending Aleppo.
Not even the Israeli airstrikes on May 3 and 5 destabilized the regime. Moreover, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed to Sochi for a visit with President Vladimir Putin to try and convince the Russian leader not to sell Syria S‑300 air defense systems. He says they are capable of changing the balance of power in the Middle East. However, these systems are not directed against Israel, which for some reason has sided with the Syrian opposition and will make preparations to wage a “holy war against the Jews” its top priority if it takes power in Damascus. These air defense systems are needed in the event the countries of the anti-Syrian coalition, primarily NATO and the conservative Arab monarchies, want to establish no-fly zones that would enable Syrian Air Force aircraft and helicopters to be shot down under the pretext of protecting areas with large numbers of refugees.
It is clear to everyone that Damascus will retain its hold on power and that the Syrian army is capable of defeating the rebellion even if Qatar and Saudi Arabia pour billions of dollars into funding the war in Syria. Syria is unlikely to be defeated without direct foreign military intervention.. If the “battle for Syria” is lost, it could crush the illusion of the “Islamic revolution” and “Arab Spring.” The Wahhabi regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar would fall, and the conflicts in Egypt and Libya would grow worse. Then the United States would be unable to deal with Iran. Washington has begun finding the Middle East burdensome. After recent events in Korea, the US has come to understand that the main threat to its national security lies in the Far East, or more precisely, in the Asia-Pacific region. It is not up to saving the Arab monarchies and the new “revolutionary” regimes in the Arab world. Especially since America’s dependence on energy supplies from the Persian Gulf has declined significantly since the “shale revolution.” That is also evident from Washington’s loss of interest in Israel’s security.
Thus, the situation in the region has entered a very interesting phase that may conclude with a new transformation — one that favors a Shiite “Spring” that would result in a more powerful Iran and Hezbollah and in stronger Shiite forces in Iraq, and it could also lead to the partitioning of Saudi Arabia with its Shiite Eastern Province seceding from the Kingdom. Indeed, there has already been a leak to the media about Washington’s and London’s plans to partition Saudi Arabia into four or five parts, one of which — the Al-Atheer region — would be transferred to Yemen due to demographic and historical factors.
Difficult times also await Qatar because its Emir is seriously ill, and his heir lacks political “weight.” However, the United States and Great Britain will probably try to rescue Qatar. After all, that emirate is nothing more than a territory that resembles a country. It is actually a “branch” of the US company Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum, with its existence guaranteed by the US El Udeid Air Base. Washington and London find this Wahhabi entity useful so long as Doha funds terrorism in Syria and the North Caucasus — thereby undermining Russia — and impairs Russia’s gas interests in Europe by dumping Qatari LNG in Gazprom’s traditional gas pipeline markets.
In any event, Syria’s resistance serves Russia’s national interests and contributes to our future in the region. A victory by Damascus in its war with terrorism would be a Russian victory in the Middle East as well, the first in the many years that have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Petr Lvov holds a Doctorate in Political Science. Exclusively for New Eastern Outlook.