February 3, 2012 – U.N. New York. Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s delegate to the U.N. Security Council, told the autocratic, undemocratic king of Morocco to go and blow his hooka in Tiziouzo. Russia will not abide any resolution condemning Syria, calling for an arms embargo against Syria or for language suggesting that Dr. Assad step down. You can get all this from major news services.
Vitaly Churkin flicks off the Moroccan delegation
But let me give you a synopsis of the most recent events in Syria: My friend Monzer says that the fighting which Al-Jazeera reported in Jassem was shortlived with the Syrian Army forcing the few deserters to withdraw into Jordan. The deserters are not trying to take on the army head-to-head. Instead, they are using classical hit-and-run tactics which work if the insurgents are not surrounded.
Which brings us to Idlib Province in the North, abutting the Turkish border. The Wadi Al-Ghab is a natural extension of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and looks a lot like it. Some wishful thinkers are narrating some tales of resistance by the “Cheaper Syrian Army” in this area. Fortunately for my readers, I have extensive contacts with people in this area, some of whom are my wife’s close relatives. In call after call, they repeat that the deserters were decimated two weeks ago by armored brigades which forced those who survived to attempt a crossing into Turkish-occupied Syria – Hatay Province.
Syrian T-72 tanks roll out of the Wadi Al-Ghab and back to their bases
Rami Abdel-Rahman, who will not stop using the same Ouija Board, consistently mimics Al-Jazeera to the point where you don’t know who is the source of the lie. We know, for a fact, that Abdel-Rahman receives his financial support from Qatar’s Prince Portly and MI6. But the imaginative reporting has to come from someplace specific. The towns which Abdel-Rahman claims are scenes of “heavy” fighting, are regularly denied by people who are there very close to the scene. I have relatives in the Syrian Army who relate their own stories to others with whom we have regular contact. Nothing is the way Al-Jazeera says it is.
The entire Damascus area is now pacified. Irbeen town, where the army found about a half ton of weapons, has been cleared of the rats. Gun runners have been captured and displayed on Syrian television before the inevitable meting out of justice. Yesterday, on Syrian state t.v., a youngish looking Lebanese man was displayed in front of the camera. He was confessing to smuggling weapons into Tel Kalakh, Syria from Lebanon. He spoke with a rural accent typical of the area of Northern Lebanon and coastal Syria. I could tell he was no actor because, as a lawyer practicing for 31 years, I can tell how a suspect talks when he thinks he is going to get some good deal for cooperating. He had that look.
A source whose name I cannot give told me that the General Intelligence Directorate and Military Intelligence are often satisfied with knowing the source of the weapons. Much evidence shows that my home town of Tripoli (a heavily Sunni Muslim city with a history of radical islamism) is acting as a conduit for arms bought and paid for by Prince Swine of Catarrh, Saad Hariri and the French. Other access routes for smugglers include Hatay Province (very difficult) and across the Eastern Bekaa of Lebanon at Zabadani. Zabadani has now been pacified. Some weapons have been smuggled in from Jordan too. Iraq has not been a particularly vexatious site for smuggling.
Abdel-Rahman has reported again that there was some unrest in Aleppo. My relatives say “No!” to that and adhere to their earlier statement that the people of Aleppo are committed to barring the deserters from entering.
Yesterday’s New York Times had an hilarious article, clearly fabricated, about a young and idealistic Syrian young man who left Germany to live in his homeland. He was drafted into the army and wound up in one of the security services. Well, you can probably figure out the theme of this story: You see, after having to watch the Syrian Army shoot at innocent demonstrators and having to attend torture sessions, he escaped bravely into Turkey leaving his one-year old baby, new wife and aging parents. His name is Ammar Cheikh Omar.
You know we at SyrPer hold the NYT in complete contempt so I put in a call to my wife’s second cousin who is very close to her. His name is Wafiq and he works for Internal Security at the Aleppo Airport. Caught him at home and explained the story about this fellow name Cheikh Omar. He told me that he had never heard the name in Aleppo and that it sounded like a provincial name – someone of rural background or someone from another town in Aleppo Province. In any case, he told me to stop reading the Western press.
Russian navy still docked outside our ports. The vodka is flowing as they come on shore for leave. I hope our tavern owners keep a good stock of Russian Vodka for them or that they’ll take a liking to Arak or Al-Sharq beer.
It’s really good vodka but I think Syrians should learn how to serve it properly, frozen and all that.