Syrian Ambassador: ‘Why would a regime butcher its own people?”

Who are the sinister forces behind the ghastly genocides being enacted on ordinary citizens of Syria?

Sadiq Naqvi Delhi

Amidst reports of another massacre in Qubeirvillage ofHama province inSyria, Riad Abbas, Syrian Ambassador toNew Delhi, stressed that all efforts are on, initiated by the West and Arab states, to isolate the current Syrian regime. “The timing of the massacre is important. Today, an important conference is scheduled inTurkey. The opposition wants international attention. Even the Houla massacre coincided with UN envoy Kofi Annan’s visit.” He asked, categorically: “Why would a regime butcher its own people?” 

“Much of the violence is happening in areas controlled by the opposition,” said Abbas. “The people have been butchered. It was not the army which would do such a ghastly act. Moreover, following the ceasefire, much of the heavy army presence inHamahad to be pulled out. The opposition took advantage of the situation,” he said. Details of the latest massacre are yet to be verified. “We suspect such violence before every important event onSyria. This is a ploy by the opposition forces to discredit the Syrian government,” said Abbas.  

“Most of the people killed in Houla were pro-government Syrian citizens. One newly elected MP inHomswas threatened, asking him to pull out from Parliament. When he refused, his whole family was killed by militants. It is the pro-government people who are dying. Half of the people killed so far in the insurgency are army personnel,” Abbas said.

Opposition activists have however alleged that after the latest massacre on Thursday, Shabbiha (pro-government private militia) entered this particular village and stabbed people to death after artillery bombardment by the army. Till the latest reports arrived, it remains completely in the realm of speculation, as to who are the forces behind this massacre.

Meanwhile, commentators and politicians in the West have upped the ante for aLibyastyle international ‘humanitarian intervention’ inSyria. British Prime Minister David Cameron has yet again called for ousting the Syrian regime. He said if the reports of the latest massacre are true, then the Syrian regime is “completely illegitimate and cannot stand”. He said that more should be done to isolate Syrian regime.

‘The timing of the massacre is important. Today, an important conference is scheduled inTurkey. The opposition wants international attention. Even the Houla massacre coincided with UN envoy Kofi Annan’s visit’

Even op-ed commentaries in the western press insist on a change of guard in Syriato promote American interests. Wrote Marco Rubio in an article titled, ‘Assad's Fall Is In America's Interests’ which appeared in the The Wall Street Journal: “Several diplomatic actions are required immediately. Others, especially involving the Syrian opposition, should be incremental and seek to help anti-Assad forces get organized. One immediately required action is to abandon any wishful thinking that the efforts of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will help the situation…”

Ambassador Abbas stressed that the Syrian regime is trying to comply by Annan’s six point plan, albeit, with some reservations. He said that Arab and western countries are publicly supporting the plan, but actively and covertly trying to sabotage it. “The distinct feature aboutSyriais that there was no defection of army personnel or diplomats. This is why the European countries, even before the final investigations on the Houla massacre could come out, expelled Syrian diplomats just to pressurise the regime,” he said. 

“Syria is suffering from an onslaught by armed groups and cross border terrorism, supported and abetted by the neighbouring countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey,” said Abbas. “They have not shied away from accepting that they are indeed financing, arming and training the militants. Al-Qaeda is actively involved in Syria. Its leaders have called for a Jehad against Syrian regime.”    

He also appreciated the efforts by BRICS countries, especiallyChinaandRussia, who have refused to toe the western world’s prejudiced and one-sided view of things and added thatSyriahas no concern for whatever decision the Arab league takes. “We allowed their observers, but they pulled out,” Abbas said. 

‘Syria is suffering from an onslaught by armed groups and cross border terrorism, supported and abetted by the neighbouring countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. They have not shied away from accepting that they are indeed financing, arming and training the militants. Al-Qaeda is actively involved in Syria. Its leaders have called for a Jehad against Syrian regime’  

Meanwhile, there are reports that US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was sending Fred Hof, a special Middle East envoy from the US State Department, to Moscow, to ascertain whether Russia and the US could achieve a common view on a post-Assad political transition scenario. The Chinese and the Russians have openly opposed any foreign intervention in Syria. 

“Syrian people will not accept this sectarian divide. We are the only secular country in the Arab world. And Syrians take pride in this fact. The opposition has no support base in our country,” reiterated Syrian Ambassador, Riad Abbas, inDelhi.