The city of Damascus and the countryside to the East of the capital, East Ghouta, are the theatre for violent combats opposing Al-Qaïda (supported by the United Kingdom and France) and the Syrian Arab Army. The Republic is trying to deliver the population from seven years of occupation and charia. But the colonial powers do not agree.
by Serge Marchand
The city of Damascus has been bombed continously by Al-Qaïda for the last six years. Here a shell fired from East Ghouta hits a house in the neighbourhood of Rukn Eddin, on 23 February 2018, killing three and wounding fifteen people.
Over the last six years, the Minister for Reconciliation has signed more than a thousand agreements and offered amnesty to tens of thousands of combatants. They have been reintegrated into society, sometimes even into the army. Those from Western Ghouta have accepted, but never those from the Eastern part.
This area, which is quite vast, was populated before the war by more than 400,000 people. According to the UNO, they number 367,000 today. According to the government, they are much fewer than that, and in any case, do not exceed 250,000.
The main city, Douma, is a neighbourhood with a bad reputation, known before the war for its brothels and its criminal elements.
In reality, this area is held by Al-Qaïda, under the title of « The Army of Islam » (Jaych al-Islam), supervised by the British SAS and officers from the French DGSE ( Direction Generale de la Securite Extérieur) under cover of the NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres. For the most part, the combatants are directed by the Allouche family, which has important property in London.
From July 2012 until his death at the end of 2015, Zahran Allouche announced several times a week that he was going to take Damascus and execute all the infidels without trial – infidel for him meaning the non-Sunni population. He imposed charia on all inhabitants according to the principles of the Wahhabite preacher, Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz. Those who contested his authority were shut in cages. He executed many people, including my neighbour (an estate agent who lived in the apartment above mine), who had his throat cut in public because he refused to say that « Assad is a dog ».
Receiving weapons from Saudi Arabia via Jordan, Allouche presided over a military parade with tanks – directed and produced by British MI6 .
When the Syrian Arab Army placed artillery on the mountains which dominate the capital, and began to bombard the army of Zahran Allouche, he ordered that prisoners should be put on the roof to act as human shields.
At the beginning of 2016, his cousin Mohamed Allouche took control. He made himself famous by throwing homosexuals off the rooftops. It’s important to understand that Syria protects homosexuals, which is an exception among contemporary Muslim countries and was also an excception in the Western countries only thirty years ago .
Mohamed Allouche became the head of the delegation from the opposition at the Geneva negotiations. When he was there, he demanded, and obtained, that the paintings and sculptures which decorated his hotel should be covered with veils. During the discusssions, from the negotiation room, he tweeted to his supporters to prepare to kill the soldiers of the « pig ».
It’s only been a few months since the Syrian Arab Army completely locked down the area. Until then, it was still possible for the inhabitants to flee. The UNO and the Red Crescent have free access on the side of the Republic, but not on the Al-Qaïda side. The jihadists allow only their own partisans to leave in order to receive medical treatment. The convoys of food are searched by the army before entering the Ghouta. Indeed, many times, the UN convoys have been used to deliver weapons to the jihadists. If the UN refuses the search, the convoys are halted.
The Ghouta is the agricultural zone which surrounds the capital. When foodstuffs which are not cultivated on site are provided by the UNO, it is the jihadists who distribute them to the population. Their prices are considerably higher than in the capital, sometimes four times more expensive. Only the inhabitants who pay allegiance to the jihadists receive money from them which allows them to buy these products. Several times, the loyalist inhabitants of the Ghouta were obliged to suffer the famine imposed on them by the jihadists.
For six years, the jihadists have regularly attacked Damascus from the Ghouta. Every day, they have continued killing its inhabitants in the deafening silence of the international community. Little by little, Daraya, Mouadamiyat al-Cham, Qudsaya and al-Hameh in August 2016, then Jobar, Barzeh, Qaboun and Tichrine in February 2017, were retaken. The agreements which were signed planned for the transport of combatants, under escort, to Idleb, in the North-East of the country, on the single condition that they free the inhabitants.
The Republic has just decided to liberate East Ghouta from the jihadists. Intensive bombing is being carried out by the artillery and the aviation. The goal is to destroy the jihadists while causing the least possible victims in the civilian population. During this campaign, humanitarian convoys are impossible. From its own side, Al-Qaïda is firing shells on the capital. Normally, the jihadists mainly target the Iranian embassy in Mezzeh, on Omeyyades Square (headquarters of the television and the Ministry of Defence), the Russian Cultural Centre in the heart of the city, and the Russisan embassy. This time, the shells are raining down everywhere. The people of Damascus and the millions of Syrians who refuse the charia have taken refuge in the capital under the protection of the Republic, and are once again trying to survive. More than a third of the inhabitants stay in their homes for fear of being killed by shells in the city. A quarter of the businesses remain closed and the administrations are working at a snail’s pace.
The United Kingdom and France are attempting to impose a thirty-day cease fire in the Ghouta. These two states make no secret of their support for the Allouche family, and their hostility to the Syrian Arab Republic in general, and its President, Bachar el-Assad, in particular. Both of them refused to take part in the peace conference in Sotchi, where more than 90% of all Syrians were represented – but not the Allouches .
War is a means of solving conflicts which, first of all, simplifies the problems in the extreme and divides men into two groups, never three, contrary to what the British and French diplomats pretend. War is practised by killing as many of the enemy as possible, but also as few of our own people as possible. In all wars, we are obliged to sacrifice some of our own, otherwise it would be a simple police action.
When the Western Coalition bombed Mosul, last year, in order to crush the few thousand jihadists who were stsaying there, it killed many more civilians (between 9,000 and 11,000, according to the sources). The Western medias celebrated this victory with enthousiasm. The same Western medias broadcast ad nauseam the images of the two little girls from the Ghouta in the middle of the bombing. No-one asked any questions about the families of these two children, nor how they learned English. No-one thought about the other children who are dying in Damascus. Everyone pleads for the massacre to stop.
If a cease-fire were to be installed, it would have no practical consequence. Indeed, Al-Qaïda would be excluded by the UNO and would reject that decision, when in fact it is Al-Qaïda and only Al-Qaïda which holds East Ghouta.
In these conditions, we have to ask ourselves why the United Kingdom and France are promoting the idea of an impractical cease-fire? Why are these two states proposing to offer Al-Qaïda a respite to the detriment only of the civilans it is oppressing ?