SECOND POST – AUGUST 29, 2012 – SYRIA’S “REFUGEE” PROBLEM; WHY THE INCREASE IF THE SYRIAN ARMY IS WINNING EVERY BATTLE.
One of our readers, Hans, asked the following question: “If the Syrian Army is winning as you so often claim, then why is the refugee problem on the increase? Just trying to answer so don’t flame (sic) me please.”
Good question, Hans. The first answer goes straight to the heart of the premise to your question. Is there a problem?
The problem is not Syria’s. It is the problem of surrounding countries which have agreed to accept asylum-seeking Syrian citizens. They are treated as temporarily displaced people and put up in camps similar to those the Palestinians settled into in 1948. The difference, of course, is that the Syrian refugees will be accepted back and repatriated whenever they choose. This was an entitlement the Palestinians never enjoyed.
If there has been a problem for the Syrian government, it’s been in the orchestrated, programmatic, systematic assault via the Western media. The underlying purpose of the media attack is not germane to this response. But, constantly hectoring the Damascus government certainly has laid a groundwork for a potential military intervention. As we have discussed in previous articles, military intervention requires a separate analysis.
The Syrian refugee issue is not the most serious in the world. It pales in comparison to those in Africa, such as Darfur or Rwanda. Comparing it to the Palestinian or Iraqi refugee exodus is Rabelaisian exaggeration. In truth, it is a bit overblown, mostly in the Western media, in order to inflame passions…to prepare some kind of atmosphere for action of some kind.
I’ve had people comment that Syrian refugees appear well-fed, sometimes overfed. This is because Syria is agriculturally self-sufficient with an extensive system of government subsidies for bread and the like.
The creation of a refugee crisis normally follows an insurgency. Whether the Syrian army is successful or not in stanching the vitality of the terrorists, the fact remains that violence is the method used to accomplish that. When civilians are in the way, as terrorists prefer, there is a need to survive by moving from the area of conflict. This is not the first time the Syrian army or intelligence organizations have faced insurgents. This is also well-studied in Russia just like at the Homs Military Academy. The question there is propounded as in every war college: what to do about civilians to avoid collateral damage?
While many Syrians have been displaced by their own choosing or by agents provocateurs (as in Der’ah who either promised money or forewarned falsely of impending massacre), some have been encouraged to depart their homes by the army itself. In towns like Manbej in the North, the army did not discourage the inhabitants from leaving for the simple reason that it is easier to face-off with the Islamist terrorists when you don’t have the burden of trying to protect innocent civilians. It’s the old expression about treading over a field of eggs.
So how is it that the Syrian army is victorious in every battle while the number of refugees increases? The Syrian army’s willingness to permit large-scale dislocation or emigration is crucial to its ability to confront an enemy who must conceal himself among civilians, in their homes and streets. When the civilians are absent, armor and air power can be readily used to bring down the house on the heads of the killers. This is why the opposition purveyors of hooey like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights rant the most when they learn that casualties among terrorists increase remarkably in direct proportion to the number of citizens who have abandoned their homes and towns.
The strategy being used by the NATO nations in Syria is designed to scientifically copy the best examples in history of insurgent or guerrilla warfare – Vietnam, Cuba and the Philippines. What the U.S. learned from these examples is that insurgencies can be successful if certain conditions are met. One condition is a strong support foundation; a regular army which backs up the guerrilla force or having friendly cross-border havens like in Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos. A second, is the ability to persist in a knock-down drag-out kind of warfare which enervates the regular professional army through sheer tenacity and seemingly unconsumable resilience. A third is self-sufficiency, training the terrorists to create weapons with basic tools. A fourth is affecting the finances of the enemy army’s enablers. A fifth is the ability of the insurgents to mix well with the local population. But a sixth is something relatively new: it is the use of psych-ops to keep feeding the terrorists false information about their triumphs and the near collapse of the government.
The Syrian High Command is very aware of this plan and has, obviously, countered it with very effective measures that have kept the criminals off balance. Which is why, we at SyrPer believe, that the next step is indirect military intervention.
I hope I answered Hans’ question despite my trademarked loquacity. The more you see displaced people, the more the Syrian army is on the move and the more the terrorists are being routed. Sad, but true.