Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Syria: sowing chaos to shatter peace

A theory of controlled chaos recently supported by "network wars" has become the basis of the U.S. policy in the crisis regions since the time of Brzezinski. The first application of this method to implement U.S. foreign policy interests has been observed in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Today "network wars" without the rear and front lines plague Syria. Elena Gromova reported for Pravda.Ru from Damascus on how and where the forces of Islamic rebels organize bloody conflicts in the country.   

Portraits of the dead are countless. They are in every town, every village ... Even in places where it would seem that there is no war. But the war has touched everyone in Syria. This is the war of the twenty-first century. There are no clear front lines. In many cities, people are sitting in cafes drinking tea until a mortar shell flies in. In one village people get ready to bury their fallen soldiers, while in the other only two kilometers away Islamist extremists are preparing for another attack ...

Currently Syrian province can be divided into three groups.
1. Those almost entirely under the control of the legitimate government;
2 . Large areas under the control of militants;
3 . The areas where fierce fights are ongoing

The first group includes the provinces of Sweida, Latakia, Tartous and Hasaka controlled by Kurdish self-defense committees established in close cooperation with the Syrian army. The province of Hama where the majority of the territory is under the control of the military may be included on the list.

The second, the most problematic group, includes Raqqa and Idleb provinces, as well as, conditionally, Deir ez-Zor, although there are plenty of virtually unpopulated areas there and it is difficult to talk about any control.

The third group where fighting is ongoing and where the situation is constantly changing includes provinces of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Daraa, and Quneitra.

Perhaps the most peaceful Syrian province, the least affected by the current events, is Sweida, located in the south of Syria. It did not appear in the combat reports, and there were no conflicts there. However, the events in the country could not but touch this peaceful region. Like all other provinces, Sweida is burying its sons who died in other parts of the country. On November 6, 2013 an explosion was carried out by a suicide bomber in the city center, at Al-Omran square, that killed eight people and injured over forty.

Tartous Province located on the coast of Syria near the Lebanese border is now also one of the most peaceful places in the country where life goes on. Only the absence of tourists from other countries, a large number of refugees from other provinces of the country, funerals of the fallen soldiers brought from the "hot spots" and the portraits of the dead serve as evidence of the war ...

The presence of the Russian fleet in Tartous has largely contributed to the safety of the province. However, it is in second place on the list due to the fact that the province includes the city of Banias, where one of the major centers of rebellion was located in the beginning of the crisis. It was there where the war has begun almost immediately after the riots in the city of Daraa; clashes erupted between soldiers and thugs who quickly turned into outright criminals. It was in Banias where a sadistic murder of a simple vendor Nidal Ali Jannoud happened only because he was an Alawite. The footage of a bloodied man with a huge scar on his face lead by a group of thugs went viral back in early 2011. He was captured along with his son during an attack of "peaceful demonstrators" at the mall. The murderers supported in full by the "international community" stabbed him many times, cut off his hands and feet, and cut his dead body in half. Jannoud's son was also brutally murdered. In addition, during the riots in Banias several policemen and soldiers were killed. In summer of 2011, terrorists from this city tried to spread unrest in neighboring Lataki, but fortunately, the residents stood up for their homes and interfered with these plans. Police often find "sleeper cells" with caches of weapons and ammunition in the city of Banias and neighboring settlements.

Latakia is one of the most patriotic cities. It is very different from other places in Syria at least because of a huge number of portraits of President Bashar al-Assad. Large demonstrations were held in this city in support of the legitimate government of the country. The residents could not be enticed by any pseudo-revolutionary slogans. However, this peaceful, flourishing region with the most beautiful and lush nature became an object of criminals. In August of 2013 terrorists from the neighboring province of Idleb and from Turkey attacked the northern province of Latakia, arranging monstrous massacres there. Nobody knows how many people were killed in the villages of Slunfeh, Al- Durra, Al-Rabiaa and others. According to official numbers, over 100, but locals claim that thousands were killed. Women were raped before their death, and babies torn in half in front of their mothers. The paradise turned into hell in a blink of an eye.

To date, the main area of the north of the province is cleared from terrorists, but attacks from the province of Idleb continue periodically.

The second group is the areas nearly entirely captured by the rebels. The most alarming situation is in the province of Raqqa. Its residents chose to stay away from the events from the onset of the crisis. Pro-government demonstrations were held in the area, and no anti-government ones. Until the beginning of 2013 Raqqa and its surroundings were among the safest territories. But in February of last year, the situation began to change dramatically. Bandits from Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor began surrounding the province of Raqqa that was not particularly well protected, as the main forces were concentrated in Aleppo and Damascus. Residents of Raqqa did no show resistance similar to that shown by residents of Latakia, and decided to stay out of politics. They had to pay for it dearly.

Militants that seized Raqqa are the most ardent, the most fanatical Islamists associated with Al-Qaeda. They set their own rules. Women are forbidden to go into the streets unaccompanied by men or be treated by male physicians, walk bareheaded (this in Syria, where religious tolerance has always existed). Sharia courts were created where residents are lynched on the slightest suspicion and sentenced to medieval punishment such as flogging, amputation of hands, and in the most severe cases - cutting off the head. Gatherings in cafes, smoking, and gambling were prohibited under a threat of death. During Ramadan they literally peeked into people's mouths to determine whether a person was observing the fast. Those suspected of non-compliance were beaten or killed. Other people's property was appropriated. "Allah Akbar" said three times makes one's property belong to the one who said it. This is true not only for property, houses and apartments. This also applies to women who are treated no better than inanimate objects.

Roughly the same order is in the areas captured by militants in the provinces of Aleppo, Idleb, and Deir ez-Zor. These areas are controlled by radical Islamists, mostly mercenaries from other countries.
Idleb city is under the control of the Syrian army. The territory of the province, especially that adjacent to the Syrian-Turkish border, is under the yoke of "Al-Jubhat Nusra" closely related to Al Qaeda.

City of Deir ez-Zor is partially controlled by the army, partially by militants. Members of extremely Islamist terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are particularly active here. They are also rampant in most towns of the province.

A similar situation is in Aleppo, although here the territory is more under the control of the army. This applies to both the city and the province. The western part of the city is relatively safe. Here life goes on normally to the extent possible. This area hosts the University of Aleppo where classes continue. Recently, students held a large demonstration in support of the army. Sometimes life in these areas is marred by terrorist attacks or mortar fire from insurgents. However, the situation is the same in Damascus, and safe neighborhoods of Homs, Daraa and other cities that are partially controlled.

Province of Aleppo, like the province of Idleb, is the area adjacent to the Syrian-Turkish border, under the control of militants, while the area to the south of the city is either under the control of the army, or the fighting continues with varying success.

Northern Syria is mainly controlled by radical Islamists. There are nearly no moderate forces there. "Moderate opposition" supported by the West or "Free Syrian Army" are concentrated in small numbers in the province of Homs and in the areas between Homs and Damascus.

Unlike Aleppo and Raqqa where the rebellion was brought from the outside, from the very beginning Homs was one of the centers of the so-called "internal revolt." But little is left from these forces today. In fact, their main core was split in early 2012, when the Syrian army liberated from them the quarter of Baba Amr in Homs that was their main focus. Remnants of these forces have moved either to the Old city of Homs, or closer to the border with Lebanon, City of Al - Kseyr of province of Homs and its surroundings. When in May-June of 2013 the army has cleared those areas, the militants were dispersed in the areas between Damascus and Homs - Yabrud, Deir Atieh, An- Nebek (the latter two are currently under the control of the army). Unfortunately, there they joined Islamic extremists "Jabhat An- Nusra" and "Islamic Front." Since December of 2013 the armed forces of "moderate opposition" have disappeared among the radical forces.

This resulted in unprecedented brutal attacks, first in the city of Deir Atieh, then the Christian village Maaloula, followed by the working town of Adra. Particularly horrific were the crimes of the "opposition" in Adra. Witnesses said that the angry mob cut off people's heads and hung them on trees, and their bodies were dragged through the streets. One woman, terribly beaten, asked "Where are my children?" and two little heads were thrown to her feet. The entire country heard the heroic story of Engineer Nizar Hassan. He had two grenades, and did not want his wife and two young children to get into the hands of bandits. When terrorists broke into his house, he blew up himself, his family members and eight raiders. Before that, he managed to call his brother to tell him that bandits broke into the house, and about his plans so the Syrians could learn of his tragedy.

Currently half of Adra is liberated by the army, the other part is still under the control of terrorists who use its remaining residents as human shields. In addition, so far the bandits control a large part of the famous Christian Maaloula - a place previously visited by many pilgrims and tourists. In the attack on the monastery of St. Thecla they took hostage an abbess and nuns, and their fate remains unknown.

In the province of Damascus fierce fighting is ongoing in the suburbs of Jobar, Harasta, and Duma.

The situation is very complicated in two southern provinces, Daraa and Quneitra, due to the fact that, first, weapons for the militants are supplied across the border with Jordan, and second, because of the facilitation of terrorists from Israel (the latter is especially felt in Quneitra Province). Daraa city is partially controlled by the army, partly militants. The border areas of the province are under the rebels. The same can be said about Quneitra.

We can conclude that the most difficult situation is in the border areas with Turkey and Jordan, and Israel. These are the areas supplying militants with financial assistance, vehicles, weapons and ammunition. This support adds fuel to the fire of war. If, finally, the Western countries and their allies become aware of the threat of terrorism for their own territories and cease to feed bandits and murderers acting under the slogan of "opposition," the Syrian army will quickly clear up insurgents in southern Syria. Of course, it will not be easy for the troops in the north where the rebel enclaves are rather extensive, but without the support of Turkey Islamists would not be able to last more than a few months.

In the West there are increasingly more concerns that terrorists who are troubling Syria today are very dangerous and tomorrow may arrange a terrorist attack anywhere, from downtown Washington to Paris, London or Tel Aviv. But neither Washington nor European capitals hear these voices, and they cannot accept the fact that there is not much of the so-called "moderate opposition" is left in Syria.

Elena Gromova



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