On Thursday, July 19 2012, Democracy Now aired a report about Syria, which comprised three segments. The report began with an activist from Damascus, who requested anonymity to protect her safety. She gave an insight into the rebels and she stated that the rebels are not organized (unfortunately the sound quality is poor; cf.: Democracy Now, “Syrian Activist in Hiding: We’re Not Looking for Intervention, We’re Looking for Support“, 19.07.2012). This has been confirmed by the fractured Syrian opposition at the Arab League-sponsored conference in Cairo in the beginning of July. Officially, the US government has been reluctant to help the Syrian rebels, in part because US officials don’t know who is in control (cf.: “Syrian Opposition Meeting Ends in Chaos“, Voice of America, 03.07.2012). The lack of organization could be a weak point of the Syrian rebels, especially after the removal of the Assad regime. Who will have the power to stop the violence and to avoid a sectarian civil war? Another interesting point from her was that the Syrian people don’t expect an international intervention anymore. In contrary, the rebels don’t ask for such intervention, because they are suspicious about the interests of the western states after the fall of the Assad regime. Nevertheless the rebels ask for support, like weapons, ammunition, money and so on.
In the second part (06’20”-14’05”), reporter David Enders, special correspondent for McClatchy, who has been to Syria four times this year, most recently in June, explained the significance of the attack on Wednesday, July 18. There are likely Islamic fundamentalists and people who code as jihadis under the rebels. At the moment they are united by the goal to bring the Assad regime down, but after accomplishing this goal, a split among the rebels about the future of Syria is possible. He confirmed that the Syrian people gave up the hope of an international intervention some months ago and what we see now – the most violent struggle against the regime of Bashar al-Assad – is the contingency plan of the rebels.
Finally, in the last segment (starting at 14’15”), David W. Lesch, professor of Middle East history at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and author of Assad’s biography “The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Assad and Modern Syria” as well as the forthcoming book “Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad“, gave an insight into the inner circle of the Assad regime. He explained why we didn’t see a change in Assads national policy and why most likely we will see no change in the future. He fears that after the attack on Wednesday, July 18, Assads security forces will act convulsively. Further, he explained why we didn’t see any uprising in Saudi Arabia.
- Jon Lee Anderson from The New Yorker was not the sole guest of the Syrian warlord, Abu Ibrahim. He had arrested eleven Lebanese a little over two months ago, because he thinks they are Hezbollah agents. Furthermore, Ibrahim received 1.3 million Euros in cash as foreign financial assistance from the government of Qatar, which gives him power. — Jon Lee Anderson, “Syria: Guests of the Warlord“, The New Yorker, 27.07.2012.
- Initially, the United Nations was convinced that the Syrian government was behind the brutal Houla massacre. But then, some began to have doubts. “Spiegel” traveled to the town to interview survivors and witnesses – and was able to reconstruct the horrifying slaughter. — Christoph Reuter and Abd al-Kadher Adhun, “Searching for the Truth Behind the Houla Massacre“, Spiegel, 23.07.2012.
- “Dozens of Turkish truck drivers have accused rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army of having burned and looted their lorries as they stormed a border post in Syria.” — “Syria rebels loot trucks: Turkish drivers“, The Australian, 22.07.2012.
- “For those on the ground fighting the Assad regime, the Council’s inability to find a diplomatic solution is a confirmation that only force will pressure the government and put it on the defensive. For the United States and its allies, the event signifies the need for a different approach outside of the chambers of the United Nations.” — Daniel R. DePetris, “In Syria, United Nations No Longer an Option“, Atlantic Sentinel, 22.07.2012.
- “Syria after Mr Assad will be a danger to its own people and its neighbours. Sectarian bloodletting is one risk, loose chemical weapons another, tides of refugees a third. Syria could become the focus of rivalry between Iran, Turkey and the Arab world. Violence could suck in Israel or spill over into Lebanon. […] Assad may hang on for months, or the bombing may tip the regime into a swift decline. Either way, now is the time to start preparing for the day when Syria is at last rid of him.” — “Syria – Towards the endgame“, The Economist, 21.07.2012.