There has been much coverage of Syrian President Assad making claims that there are terrorists operating within Syria and that they are the ones responsible for most of the tragedies he has been accused of committing. He came out and specifically blamed the same terrorist entities for the massacre of over one-hundred innocent civilians in the country’s Houla region where thirty-four women and forty-nine children were among the dead. His claim that those committing this horrid crime were eight-hundred rebel fighters as the perpetrators has been found to be incredulous. What is to be made of these claims by President Bashir Assad that he is innocent and has been fighting against a terrorist influence in Syria?
Well, part of his claims are correct, it is just which side is employing the terrorists which he has backwards. Reports have claimed that as well as the regular Syrian Army troops who are fighting against the civilian and opposition forces there are also forces supplied by Hezballah and from the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) assisting with some of the less reputable actions taken to instill fear and terror in the hearts of those opposing Assad. The groups supplied by Hezballah are of course terrorists as Hezballah is a terror organizations and the IRGC are mercenary style troops who are responsible for directing the Iranian foreign terror assets around the world. But this is not the end of the terror units operating against the people under Assad.
Where Assad could claim that he is not in direct control of the Hezballah and IRGC units and that they are operating independently, this is not true of the last, and likely most feared, of the terror operatives taking part in this civil war, and trust me, it has crossed the line into a civil war long ago. The United Nations report concerning the Houla massacre last week pointed fingers at the Assad government controlled Shabiha Units. These Shabiha Units are nothing more than President Assad’s version of the IRGC with one important difference, where the IRGC is predominantly responsible for terrorist acts outside Iran, the Shabiha Units operate within Syria at Assad’s orders to spread terror and keep check on any who might choose to harbor subversive tendencies towards the Alawite ruling elite. So, while President Bashir Assad is completely accurate in claiming that there are terrorists at work inside Syria, he is less than forthcoming as to on which side the vast majority of the terrorists and terror acts can be attributed. Bashir Assad is the Syrian terror master who pulls their strings and gives them their marching orders. His claim of fighting against the terrorist factions within Syria should be translated to mean he is responsible for the terrorist factions fighting against Syria. Much the same words with a world of difference in meaning, something many petty despots are guilty of implementing when attempting to lie their way out of a bad position they have placed themselves in. The simple conclusion is that once the world is rid of Bashir Assad in Syria, then Syria will be rid of its main terror problems as the two are tightly bound together against the Syrian people.
The question as to will things be any better once Assad and his Alawite cohorts are gone is somewhat more difficult. Judging from the rest of the uprisings taking place as part of the Arab Winter, the guess is probably not. The rebel forces in Syria resemble closely the rebel forces that won in Libya, many different factions and tribes working somewhat in concert for a common cause. I would expect that in Syria, as in Libya, once Assad is dispatched these groups will turn on each other until one proves strongest and we will witness the beginning of the replacement to Alawite rule with simply another faction or tribe holding ultimate power. If, by some miracle, Syria manages to install an actual representative government, be prepared to see the most fractured and unworkable faction style of governance ever witnessed. It will most likely resemble the government in France immediately after the French Revolution. For those who are not familiar with that, it was completely nonfunctional and directly led to the rise of Napoleon. Let’s hope that Syria does a little better than the French after their revolution is over. Unfortunately, this is one who does not hold much hope that Syria will install a workable government once Assad is dispatched and fully expect the military to move in and take control as the government falls into chaos and ineffectiveness. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Beyond the Cusp