Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Winds of change are blowing in Syria

SANA, the official Syrian news agency, reported that on the occasion of Prophet Mohammad's birthday, on the 24th of January 2013, the Syrian President, Dr. Bashar al-Assad, participated in a religious ceremony at the al-Afram Mosque in Damascus. He shook hands with believers and listened to the noon prayer, delivered by His Eminence, Sheikh Ahmad al-Jazaeri, imam of the al-Afram Mosque. 

by Olivia Kroth

After the prayers, Sheikh Kamal Hawwari cited verses of the Holy Quran. The Minister of Religion, Dr. Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyid, held a speech about the birth of Prophet Mohammad, reminding the congregation that the Prophet had called for using one's logical mind rather than resorting to destruction.

"As we are celebrating the birth anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad, we recall what he went through and how God made him conquer his enemies ... We can draw a parallel to our present situation, as Syria's enemies are conspiring against the homeland, and we can refer that it will definitely be victorious,"  the Minister's speech was quoted by SANA.

He asked all Syrians to listen to President al-Assad's call for dialogue and urged them to follow in the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad. Sheik al-Jazaeri concluded the celebration with a prayer for the protection of Syria and its President.

The Lebanese news agency Al Manar reported that the Syrian President was shown in a live broadcast, as he was kneeling in the al-Afram Mosque of Damascus, accompanied by Syria's Grand Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun, and the Minister for Religion. According to Al Manar, a large crowd had gathered outside of the mosque to greet the President and express support.  

One day later, on Friday, the 25th of January 2013, a nationwide prayer for the security and stability of the homeland was held in all Syrian mosques. The imams stressed the importance of unity and trust that Syria will foil the foreign conspiracy against the homeland's independence and security.

This was echoed by El Watan, an Algerian news media, in French, "Syrie: Damas appelle à une prière d'un million de fidèles." Syria: Damascus calls for prayers of one million believers. Surely, more than one million Syrians participated, as a great majority of Syrians stand on the President's side, not on that of the bankrupt, rag-tag "opposition."  

The Socialist Republic of Algeria has traditionally been, and still is, a befriended country of the Socialist Arab Republic of Syria and the Great Socialist Libyan Jamahiriya. Algeria supported the Jamahiriya, just as it now supports Syria. When some family members of the Great Brother Leader of the Jamahiriya, Muammar Gaddafi, left the country, they took exile in Algeria. 

Meanwhile, the Syrian Armed Forces keep cleansing their country of infiltrated terrorists. 

Aleppo countryside:

Scores of terrorists were killed in al-Amiriyah, al-Kalasa, al-Mijbil, al-Shaer, al-Sheik Said, Andan, Ayin Dakna, Bani Zaid, Kafir Dail and Ming.     

Damascus countryside:

In Darya, many terrorists were liquidated, among them the leader, Mahmoud Naileh, as well as Ahmad Abu Zid, Salim al-Kouz and Samir Abu al-Izz. 

In the Douma farms and in Harasta, a great score of terrorists were killed as well, including Abdul-Aziz Maid, Izzo al-Houri, Mouaffaq al-Houri and Mohammd Khalifah. In Douma, women chanted slogans in salute to the Syrian Army. 

In Abdeen, Deir Atiyeh and Haifoon, terrorists were killed and their weapons seized. Also a machine gun equipped vehicle and a minibus with terrorists inside were destroyed. 

Hama province:

In the village of Jalma, terrorists were killed and explosive devices at the entrance of the village were dismantled. More explosive devices were found and dismantled on the road between Hama, Mhardeh and al-Squailbiyeh. Their weight ranged between 25 and 40 kilos.

Hasaka city:

Terrorists were liquidated north of the city and their machine gun equipped vehicles were destroyed.

Homs countryside:

Dens and hideouts of terrorists were destroyed in al-Gharbiyeh, al-Houla, al-Tiybeh and Kafar Laha. All terrorists were liquidated. 

In the Lebanese news media, New Orient News, based in Beyrouth, journalist Pierre Khalaf wrote that "The Syrian Army controls the field." It liquidated rebel strongholds, killing thousands of terrorists. Now those remaining have started fighting each other, after their overall strategic failures. 

According to the Lebanese journalist, the Syrian state has retaken full control of 80 percent of its territory and all major cities. A National Defence Force has been created, composed of civilians and reservists. In Aleppo, in just one week, 20.000 young men were enrolled in the Republican Guard. The National Defence Force is a sign of strong national unity, according to Pierre Khalaf. 

In addition, civilians in Aleppo, Damascus and other cities have been equipped with sophisticated surveillance and communications devices to assist the Syrian Armed Forces in their fight against terror. 

Thus, the winds have changed in Syria. "Los Vientos Cambian y Assad se Queda" is the title of an article in the Spanish edition of Al Manar. It reports that the popular committees in Syria are working hand in hand with the Syrian Armed Forces, cleaning out one area after the other, while President Al-Assad has no intention of leaving. He is there to stay. 

Help is coming from outside as well. SANA quoted the Russian President's Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, "We sincerely believe the plan that was suggested by President Assad is a kind of continuation of the Geneva talks and could constitute a very good basis for further attempts for a settlement." He reiterated that "the decision about the future of Syria cannot be taken in other capitals.  This cannot be viable." 

SANA also quoted Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian State Duma, who pointed out that "Russia's stance towards Syria has remained firm since the beginning, as it stresses the need for dialogue among all parties."

In the Czech Republic's capital city of Prague, the community of Syrian expatriates voiced their full support for President Assad and called for a "national dialogue among all spectrums of society to preserve the homeland's sovereignty, security and unity."

Last, but not least, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, who is known for calling a spade a spade, said in Beyrouth that "Those who are still living in the delusion that the Syrian state will fall, must remove this idea from their heads," as quoted by SANA.

The winds of change are blowing. Will they blow all nonsense out of western, Qatari, Turkish and Israeli heads? The war in Syria is over. Save your money and go home, folks! 
Prepared for publication by:

Lisa Karpova