Syria: Lizzie Phelan about the situation in Zabadani

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Sideviews
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Syria: The officials of the Arab League (AL) have decided that their team of observers will continue to work inside Syria for another month. The group of observers will be increased and the Arab League observers will also receive training by the UN (United Nations).

Of course, at this point, the question remains which training these observers get by the UN. Maybe the training to just report what is in line with the propaganda of the United Nations (UN) against the Syrian government?

Even if these statements are false. In the end, it is an interesting new development which raises some questions and increases the doubt about the credibility of these new Arab League (AL) observers and the intentions of the UN (United Nations) and Arab League.

The mission of the Arab League observers expired this week, but until now, the mission did not succeed in ending the violence within this country of the Middle East.

This could be related to the fact that the so-called “Syrian Free Army” (FSA) and other militant opposition forces do not want to stop the violence, which causes destabilization and chaos in Syria. It`s an usual part of a so-called “regime change” strategy.

In one of the latest outbreaks of terrorism and violence, about 14 people were killed when a police car, transporting prisoners, was ambushed in the north-west of Syria. If the armed criminals and religious fanatics are attacking transports of prisoners, they play with the lives of these prisoners.

It seems that they do not care about this fact, as long as they can attack state cars and Syrian police – and maybe kill some Syrian security forces.

While the Arab League observers are prepared for their next observer mission in Syria, and the violence by armed militias, criminals and religious extremists still continues, a Former EU Middle East Mediator and Director of the Conflicts Forum, based in Beirut (Lebanon), Alastair Crooke, talked with Russia Today (RT) about the situation in and around Syria.

Alastair Crooke shares the opinion that the call for a military intervention in Syria by foreign powers increases the isolation of Qatar and not the isolation of President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian government. He also said that many of the internal opposition members are mainly against any referral to the UN Security Council and that it does not look like the Arab League (AL) will really refer it to the UN Security Council.

The Former EU Middle East Mediator and Director of the Conflicts Forum, based in Beirut (Lebanon), Alastair Crooke, was also asked by Russia Today (RT) who are the groups behind the isolation of the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad.

Alastair Crooke answered again, that he thinks, Qatar gets more and more isolated within the Arab League (AL) and that President al-Assad is not much isolated as the West had expected and thought what will happen.

In the end of the interview, Alastair Crooke mentioned the fact that the so-called Syrian “opposition” is deeply divided and that the Syrian National Council (SNC) was set-up like the model of the dubious Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC). He also said that this Syrian National Council does not reflect the opinion inside Syria – even not the opposition opinion inside Syria.

Meanwhile, the British independent journalist Lizzie Phelan wrote about her journey to the (now) known Syrian city of Zabadani some days ago. After Lizzie Phelan saw an report by Al-Arabiya that thousands of so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) officers had taken the city of Zabadani.

Al-Arabiya tried to prove their report by broadcasting footage of a convoy of approximately 10 cars filled with armed fighters, apparently in the Syrian city of Zabadani. But after the last 10 months we all know that Al-Arabiya lost its credibility in the same manner as Al-Jazeera has lost it.

The journalist Lizzie Phelan visited the city of Zabadani shortly after these reports by al-Arabiya. It was easy for her because Zabadani is not far away from the Syrian capital Damascus, where she was. Zabadani is near the border to Lebanon and known as an area which partly supports the arms smuggling from Lebanon to Syria.

Lizzie Phelan wrote a short article about her journey to Zabadani. She mentioned in this report that there was just one checkpoint by the Syrian army on her way to Zabadani. After she arrived in Zabadani, Phelan did not saw any checkpoints by the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and even heard no gunfire at all. In addition, Lizzie Phelan reported that the streets of Zabadani were completely dead as she arrived in this Syrian city.

On her way out of the city, she was able to speak with the legitimate Syrian army soldiers at the checkpoint. These soldiers told the British journalist Phelan that if she wants to, they are able to turn back around and drive through the Syrian city of Zabadani all the way to the neighbor state Lebanon.

Of course, this is a statement by the Syrian soldiers, what they hardly would say when this Syrian city was really in the process of being “taken” by armed insurgents and the violent “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) thugs.

Afterwards, the report by Lizzie Phelan gets really interesting.  She mentioned the dubious report by Jeremy Bowen, known as BBC journalist. BBC`s Jeremy Bowen claimed to be in the city of Zabadani and reported that the whole town was under “full control of opposition forces”.

But BBC`s Bowen again has missed it to present any credible evidence about his questionable report and the statements. It seems much more as a next propaganda report by using false facts.

Of course, everybody knows that there are certainly armed insurgents and criminals in this area, close to the Lebanese border of Syria. No surprise, this area always has been known for arms smuggling and other criminal acts. Phelan also mentioned that the road to Zabadani remains much as it was when she visited the Syria. The independent journalist asked a good question: when does a city become “taken”?

Lizzie Phelan also mentioned that there was hardly any battle between the Syrian army soldiers and the armed insurgents and that the Syrian security forces are definitely moving through the city of Zabadani. But she also mentioned that she is not able to confirm that this is the case for the whole Syrian city at the border to Lebanon.

Phelan compared the broadcasted images of the city Zabadani to the images of reports about Libya. A few armed insurgents, surrounded by some “anti-Assad” protesters. Shown by news channels so that they can claim that the whole Syrian city of Zabadani has been taken. Lizzie Phelan is convinced that it would not be the first time that the Qataris were so desperate for some return on their investment that they fabricate a “victory”. Of course, we are just able to agree to the statements of Lizzie Phelan.

The conclusion of this article by the journalist Lizzie Phelan is also very important and hits the nail on its head. The problem for the military (e.g. Syrian army) is not that they are overpowered by armed terrorists, of which the amount of insurgents is overrated by Western press.

The difficulty for the military is when they are embedded themselves amongst civilians. Then it is extremely difficult for any army to respond on armed criminals and terrorists without endangering the lives of these civilians.

In the end, the British journalist Lizzie Phelan seems also convinced that the armed terrorists in the meantime continue to terrorize Syrian communities and are increasing their grip of power over them.

You can read the report by Lizzie Phelan on her blog – Zabadani: Under terrorist or Syrian Army control?


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