The Syrian National Council’s new leader has announced that the opposition group in exile is “not looking for intervention,” but the actions of the Assad government are “forcing” Syrians to demand international help.
During his first press conference after being unanimously elected as the new head of the Syrian National Council, Abdulbaset Sieda also pledged support for the Free Syrian Army and financial aid to those Syrians who are suffering.
Following criticism of the SNC’s inability to represent the full array of Syria’s ethnic and religious minorities, Sieda reassured every group that “the future of Syria will be for the all of them.”
“There will be no discrimination based on gender or sects,” he said. “The new Syria will be a democratic state.”
But the majority of Syrians do not believe in this “shady” figure’s good intentions, political analyst Pepe Escobar told RT.
RT: The Syrian rebels appear to have stepped up their attacks, and now the newly-elected leader of the Syrian National Council is saying the group will be the political brains behind the opposition. Are we seeing the movement becoming more organized?
PE: Well, this is what they hope for, but is not necessarily what is going to happen. [Abdulbaset Sieda], who comes after Burhan Ghalioun, is a very shady character. He has very good Kurdish connections of course, Sunni connections as well, but he is also trying to play to the Christians and the Alawites, saying, “Look, if there is a post-Assad government or regime we are not going to touch you.”
Nobody believes him inside Syria. In fact the umbrella, the opposition umbrella, it’s a disgruntled matter in fact – they do not get along with each other – and infiltrated on the ground by people who are actually doing a lot of these killings.
And these people, they are mercenaries imported from Libya, by way via Qatar, and this is a taboo subject to be discussed here in Qatar. I could not find anybody here who would discuss with me frankly what the Qatari intelligence services are actually doing on the ground in Syria. But this is part of Qatari foreign policy. They are financing and weaponizing the really hardcore arm of the Syrian opposition.
And I’m not sure Mr. Sieda, the new head of the Syrian National Council, knows what is really going on on the ground.
RT: Apart of the covert operations you are referring to, what about the official calls for intervention? They seem to be getting louder, don’t they? And it's interesting to see that Israel has now joined the chorus for foreign intervention, saying “let’s do something along the lines of what we saw in Libya.” But why would Israel now start to change its opinion?
PE: That’s a very good question because I’m not sure even a lot of people in Israel actually know the motives of the Likudniks. Because until virtually yesterday they were saying out loud to the international community: “Maybe the best thing in Syria is the status quo, because we know how to deal with the devil that we know,” which is the Assad family of course. Nobody knows what is going to be next. If it is a Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, hardcore Sunni quasi-Islamist government, this is not a good thing for Israel.
Turkey, the same thing, they have been playing a double game for months. Everybody knows that NATO, they have a command and control center in Hatay province in southern Turkey, and these people are also weaponizing the incursions of the Syrian defectors and militants across the Turkey-Syria border. This has been going on for at least eight to nine months now.
The civil war until a few months ago would be theoretically restricted to northern Syria. Now it is spreading all over. Now we are going to have more suicide bomber attacks in Damascus itself, which is the Lebanonization scenario, the Vietnamization scenario: total civil war.
Who wants this? It is impossible that the Obama administration, Francois Hollande in France, David Cameron in England, and the Turks in Ankara want a civil war in Syria, because nobody knows what is going to happen next.
RT: So what do you think of Moscow’s attempts to get a large grouping of international countries together to come up with some sort of plan?
PE: Well, this is the only possible rational adult solution for this problem. But when you see people nowadays talking about, including people from the Syrian National Council, talking about a foreign intervention outside of the UN, this means what? This means another NATO war. Obviously it is going to be vetoed. If it goes to the Security Council it will be vetoed by Russia and China and even other BRICS countries.
But if they come up with some sort of legal instrument – which, considering what has been happening since the Iraq war for instance, is very easy to find – we are going to have sooner or later an illegal foreign intervention from some countries, Qatar included, Turkey of course, the US leading from behind, and probably France and Britain as well.