Bashar al-Assad Threatens To Turn Syiria Into “Tens Afghanistans” If Attacked By Western Countries
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad On Sunday said for the British Sunday Telegraph in an interview that an earthquake would be unleashed in the entire Middle East if the Western forces intervened in his country. Assad warned that a “new Afghanistan” or “tens of Afghanistans” would break out in Syria, if an attack was launched. Assad’s words come after the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon repeated his call for the violence to end in this country, following reports that say that at least 50 people were killed over the last 48 hours as the security forces shelled the city of Homs, where the revolt against Assad started.
In his interview, Assad said that the Western countries would increase pressure on Syria. Speaking in metaphors, he said that Syria was the “faultline” of the Middle East, and that every intense pressure would trigger an earthquake in the area.
Assad recognized for the British newspaper that many mistakes have been made at the beginning of the uprising but insisted that now only terrorists were being targeted. By that he wanted to reinstate his opinion that whatever goes on in Syria is the result of a terrorist conspiracy against his country.
He described the Arab Spring as a fight between Islamism and pan-Arabism, and added that his country reacted differently to it, compared to other leaders of the Arab world, who, in his opinion, went down the road of “stubborn government.”
Six days after the protests began in Syria, Assad said, he and his government made the first reforms in the country. He added that Syria has been fighting Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s, and that they are still doing it.
Assad makes his statements soon after the Arab League leaders visited Damascus and were impressed with his openness toward reforms. They did though urge him to stop the killing of civilians.
Bashar is due to meet with the Arab leaders in Cairo on Monday, when the deadline he was given two weeks ago expires, and his country could be expelled from the organization.
Arab League met in Cairo two weeks ago and voted for his expulsion but the vote was in favor of the president of Syria, given that some of the voters were embattled presidents, who had their own set of problems back home.
The Arab organization gave him two weeks to end the crackdown. There are reports who say that about 200 people have been killed since the ultimatum.
Assad wanted to impress the leaders of the Arabs by staging three rallies in his favor in Damascus, Latakia, and Aleppo, where tens of thousands gathered to show that they were committed to his “reforms.”
While people in Aleppo were shouting that they loved him, people in Homs were telling him he was next, after Muammar al Qaddafi that is.
The divide among the people in Syria is expressed also in the difficulty the opposition had in establishing a national council the way the Libyan one was established. However, the newly established Syrian National Council said that there was nothing to talk to Bashar, other than a peaceful handing of power.
This attitude means that Assad will not have that negotiation with the opposition in Cairo. Defining the Arab Spring as a fight between pan-Arabism and Islamism is directed somehow toward the League, which is the only organization to keep the Arab nations together, even though Arab League is not animated by the Socialist form of pan-Arabism.
The fact that Bashar feels like threatening the Western nations could also be construed as a sign that the steady supporters of his policies have finally decided to leave him to his fate.
Russia and China have steadily supported his regime, by vetoing a very important resolution that would have sanctioned Syria for its violent repression of the civilians. UN has reports that say Damascus has killed some 3,000 people.
Russia opposed the resolution precisely for the same reason exposed by Assad: they feared that an intervention in Syria would turn the region into an “earthquake.” Russia warned that whatever happened in Libya would not happen in Syria.
Soon after they vetoed the resolution draft, the Russian officials warned Bashar al-Assad to either implement reforms or step down. It could seem that the Russians and the Chinese have decided to leave Bashar’s regime.
Israeli website DEBKAfile, a military and political analysis website considered to have information from Mossad, said that the Syrian regime has planted over the last 48 hours minefields along the Lebanese, Turkish and Jordanian border in order to prevent the weapons and manpower that they believe it is smuggled into his country through these borders.
Debka says that since the demise of Muammar al Qaddafi, Bashar al-Assad is said to act like hunted man, fearing that he could end up like the Libyan leader.
The reasons to be concerned do exist, if one considers only that on Saturday at least 20 soldiers of the regime’s army have been killed in a clash with defectors nearby Homs. That means that the increasing number of the defectors has begin to seriously affect the effectiveness of Assad’s troops’ crackdown in the field.11