By Sami Clipp of Assafir Lebanese newspaper.
Not even one dead person last Friday in Syria, this is what accurate and certain security sources said .
The "International Protection" Friday was the least dangerous, therefor a huge failure to its organizers.
The Syrian people (opposition or supporters) proven more Arabism than Atlantics thought, as the opposition divided between supporters to the semi-Libyan intervention, and those who said that such intervention in the Arab world only led to destruction (Iraq) or division (Sudan) or disregard (Somalia) or even a civil war (Lebanon and Yemen).
Friday passed , and before it Ramadan with less than others expected.. and before this and that, the Syrian government didn't fall in Hama's trap.. the government had a long breath.. seemed that the security solution started breaking the essence of the regional and international equation which thought that president Bashar Al Assad will fall within two months.
It was natural from the government's point of view, that Damascus decide when and how to welcome the Arab league secretary general "Nabil Al Arabi", and impose on this diplomat to arrive represented by his position as the league's leader without conditions or pre-initiations, and not as a messenger sent by the Arab FMs or the U.S convoys to the region, headed by "Jefry Filtman", and not after receiving Syrian opposition members "by mistake" hours before his arrival to Damascus, as happened when Damascus decided to postpone his visit.
Nabil Al Arabi accepted the game's terms.. he came to Damascus loaded with Arabian pressures.. it had been said that Qatar and some Gulf countries and the United States and European countries sent with him what is similar to an alert to the Syrian government.. but what he heard in Damascus made him shift from the stage of warnings and lessons to the stage of desire in helping to find a solution for the Syrian dilemma with a more diplomatical and calm manner... this was perfectly reflected the day before yesterday on "Al Arabi"'s speech at the Arab FM's meeting in Cairo.. he seemed more understanding and not rushing to come up with any declaration.. he seemed more willing for dialogue, even if some of the Arab FMs and specifically the Qatari one who insisted on halting the violence, blaming it on the Syrian government alone, ignoring the existence of armed groups..
Nabil Al Arabi himself said upon his arrival to Cairo that he wants for the violence "with all its forms" to stop.. this phrase was very important as it implies that violence is also coming from the armed gangs as well.. Al Arabi's admitting, is very significant at this time.
A diplomat, close to the Arab League people in Cairo, says that Al Arabi understood through Al Assad's tone, and through the info he heard, and the videos delivered to him and to the League's envoy, that the Syrian security's fist (which was tightened in the last couple of months) was not only aiming to prevent protesters from expanding the demonstration circles, yet also to block the road on armed men and "Al Qaida" people and weapon smugglers.. the diplomat quoted Al Arabi when said: "the truth that there are armed men in Syria, and some areas almost went out of the government's control".. Al Arabi also heard that the sectarian inflammation that some League countries participated in, did not aim for reform, not even enhancing the lives of the Syrians, it only aimed to destroy Syria's role and stance.
The Algerian diplomat "Ahmad Bin Hali" (AL chief assistant) who accompanied Al Arabi to Damascus, didn't find Syria's atmospheres comfortable for his clarifications.. he tried to explain the Arabian initiation in its details, he called on the Syrian government to withdraw the army and stop the violence, he also said that the government image retracted and that the security operations must stop.. or in short, he said what was previously leaked days before the arrival of the Arab envoy to Damascus.
The Arab League message carried by Al Arabi, sought to inform the Syrian government that it is responsible for the deterioration and the violence, and must end the security operations... perhaps Nabil Al Arabi who faced a very intense vilification upon his first visit to Damascus, visited it again to fix things up, especially in the Egyptian street, and to be said that he came to warn or advise the Syrian government and ask them strictly to halt the security crackdown, and if he wants something to save him from drowning, then this is the Arabian initiation on the table... but the Syrian leadership knows that Al Arabi (who is related to the author "Muhamad Hasanen Haikal") is far better than most of the Arabian leaders who worked on toppling the Syrian government.. and if it didn't believe in this, the entire visit would have been canceled.
The Arab League sources in Cairo said that Al Assad was completely ready for the meeting, even for confrontation if any Arabian dictations were sensed, but the meeting soon developed to expanded clarifications for the general matters, and the armed men movements, and stressed long on the stages of reforms.. Al Arabi supported this political choice and said that time is not in Syria's favor, he sought to explain the regional, international and Arabian role, but the Syrian official response was that the regional and Arabian frame was never with the salvation of world's people, yet the aim was and still to hit the resistance, and no one will ever change the Syrian attitude.
People close to Nabil Al Arabi talked about the hard beginning of the Assad meeting, especially when Al Assad objected some of his proposals, and then moved to asking about Palestine's cause at the UN, and what did the Arab League do in preparation for this issue, then the talks between Al Arabi and Al Assad had been described by those close to Al Arabi as very useful.
Al Arabi, managed to pass the Arab letter to the Syrian government which indicated stoping the security operations, starting dialogue with the opposition and implementing reforms.... in return, the Syrian government definitely succeeded, as it is still strong and hard to topple, and proceeding with reforms but on its own way... sources close to "Ahmad Ben Heli" said that Al Arabi went to advise Al Assad to stop the violence, and he returned with advises to all the Arabs to support the Palestinian cause at the UN soon, and fight the U.S and western attempts to prevent acknowledging the Palestinian state.
Al Arabi's envoy returned from Damascus loaded with messages more strict regarding Qatar.. Syria until this day did not declare officially any opposing attitude towards Qatar's role, accused in launching a political and media strike against the Syrian government, but people close to "Ben Heli" assured that the Syrian side made it clear to the Arabian envoy that Qatar is the real stimulator of the latest declaration by the AL... in return, the envoy did not hear anything regarding Saudi Arabia whose representative in the Arabian FM meeting was calm, as if the Qatari FM was entitled to handle the Syrian file or the "revolution files"... which practically means that the Qataris will run the file on their own way, as they will handle the responsibility of the Arabian peace initiation committee, which made diplomats talk about hard diplomatic months, specially if the Qataris are still clutching on internationalizing method similar to the Libyan way.
An Egyptian journalist close to Nabil Al Arabi said that the AL chief heard in Damascus a malicious and full of meanings advice, he was told: "We in Syria presented an ambitious reform project, and will demand all Arab and Gulf countries who pressured us for reforms, to apply this project".
The Syrians said their reforms are serious, and all it needs is time, and no going back is accepted, they were asked about Arabian countries asking them for reforms, when those countries do not even own a constitution to apply.. The Syrians said that U.S dictations are forced on many Arab countries... they stressed they didn't accept the U.S dictations after the Iraq invasion, and they will not accept the dictations of their toys?.. The Syrians said: "it is better for those counties battling presently in the halls of the Arab League on the conspiracy over Syria, to look toward Palestine to see if they really can challenge the American "VETO" and supporting the mother of causes" ?
The secret of the Syrian high spirit..
The reasons of regaining the spirits are various, and the top of it is security reasons.. the army and security forces managed to escape the blurriness of the first two months... the security members managed move from the phase of demonstrations and fighting back the hits, to the phase of intensified planning... they returned mastering that variation of the security strategies.. they set a calendar for their precaution hits.. they set successful traps, such as the one in Hama when the army pretended to have split , which gave them a chance to arrest many armed gangs leaders.. the intelligence services regained their role and reputation which was lost in the first two months... they managed arrest dangerous groups, and discover important threads of the groups attachments (Lebanese defense minister Fayez Ghusn, learnt some clarifications in this regard).. most of the "Thuraya" satellite phone and information devices of satellite broadcasting "Arbigan" were confiscated...
All those forces managed arrest the army defectors, some of them surrendered confessing they were lured.. it had been said that intelligence eyes were planted within the opposition ranks.. some opposition symbols outside Syria sent signals indicating their desire to continue with dialogue.. some others declared their resentment from resorting to weapons, all that could help later in classifying the opposition, those who wants dialogue, and those who are not to be dialogued.. and those who are attached to the west... it had been said that threads had been woven with the first sort of the opposition (the dialogue ones) and Iran is playing a good role in this regard.
All presented, strengthen the security and intelligence spirits... but focal points still exit.. Homs is a dangerous example of what is going on: sectarian killings, slaughtering according to the IDs after ambushing a bus.. the Turkish counselor who went to retrieve a Turkish truck driver dead body who was killed in Al Rastan area in Homs, talked that he witnessed a county within the country, he witnessed armed men blocking the roads and controlling areas without any presence of the state and its symbols.. they even prevented an ambulance from receiving the dead body, and insisted that the Turkish counselor is the only person who can enter the hospital.
Coordinations also made use of time, and became more organized, they divided their work to groups don't know much about each other.. they now agree on passwords through delicate machines, they even set special strategy to film and broadcast pictures.
Ankara, Cairo and Tehran..
The Syrian grand doubts about Qatar came a short time upon the Qatari prince visit to Tehran.. the diplomatic sources in Cairo who are close to Doha did not deny that the Qatari visit to Iran was not successful.. those sources are almost certain in disclosing that the Iranian authority told Sheikh Hamad: "Syria is a red line", " and "when we advise our Syrian allies and brother to be fast with reforms, we hope this do not imply that we are have changed our strategies", which in one of its parts rely on the deep strategic alliance with the Syrian government and the president Bashar Al Assad".
It might be a coincidence, or wanted to be so, the Turkish PM "Erdogan" visit which was synchronized with the Arab FM meeting in Cairo, and with the heating up of the Palestinian cause at the UN.
The equation is clear in Cairo, Erdogan presently participating in spreading the missile shield of the NATO in the middle east and on the doors of Damascus and Tehran.. the Turkish opposition regained the initiation, the republican opposition party is now initiating a skepticism campaign at Erdogan's policy in the region, specially his attitude toward Israel, at the same time, the Kurdish fighters had shown their claws again.
Tension with Israel, and the humanitarian mission to Somalia was not enough to cover Erdoan's intentions, there had to be a mission to Egypt, Cairo is the capital of Arabian changes, it is the Sunni depth.. and before this and that, it is important for the future of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region.
Iran got acquainted with the new Egyptian authorities, "Ali Brojerdi" the homeland security committee leader at the Iranian advisory council visited Cairo a couple of weeks ago to meet Egyptian officials and Arab League officials, he was preceded by many phone calls, part of them remained classified.. the Gulf machine moved.. USA opened her eyes wide.. Israeli intensified its concerns.. The road must be blocked in front of the Iranian expansion.. adding Jordan and Morocco to the GCC must be done as soon as possible.
Someone is thinking seriously that the Turkish-Egyptian-Gulf coalition will be a fortified blockage in front of Iran.. this thinking strengthen when the Syrian government proved powerful.. the bet to topple it seemed fanciful... Iran, till now, avoiding to raise the diplomatic collision level with Ankara and the Gulf, it is seeking to prevent providing an Arabian cover for any international invasion on her or on Syria, but it didn't hesitate, through its leader Ahmadinejad, to ring the warning bell when the NATO missile shield issue was raised... Nejad said to those who want to understand: "Turkey is a brother country, and a close friend, but when enemies set in it anti-missile shields, and admit it is pointed toward Iran, then we have to be alert".
Did president Assad regained the initiation?
He might have succeeded in imposing the security fist and prevent dripping to a dangerous point... but there must be political relieves, as security alone do not provide solutions, yet it might complicate it as time goes by...
Close people to Nabil Al Arabi said that some members of the AL and other parties started a series of phone calls to push toward political solution and open the doors of dialogue.. and they also say that Al Assad prmised AL Arabi with political steps important and very soon, and no return from reforms.
Nabil AL Arabi came back to Cairo less tense and more desired to give Al Assad more time.. but the problem remains that those who wants to topple Al Assad are not fund of reforms and human rights..
It's hard to imagine Barak Obama, Sarkozy and Erdogan backing from announcing that Al Assad had lost his legitimacy.. Perhaps this proves that the next near phase is not a tension-relax phase, yet a more tension phase.. the opposition ,regional and western countries will not back up easily regarding president Assad.. some might think that accelerating the Yemeni dilemma by convincing president Ali Abdulla Saleh to transfer the power through a Gulf plan, and intensify he military pressure to end what remains of Gaddafi's rule, those are presentations for steps and sanctions and international moves more wide against Syria.
Ofcourse nothing allows until now to say that hes pressures could lead to toppling the Syrian government, as the security power are still in the hand of the government, and the supreme regional country "Iran" is still ready to fight any danger might harm the Syrian government, even if it will open some lines with the opposition "Muslim Brotherhood".. as for the international level, those who are close to the Syrian government say: "Half of the world is with us, if we count the people of Russia, China, South Africa, Brazil, India and others".
The Syrian file strongly entered the international and regional equations, and will not come out of them without a huge relieve .. or huge explosion..