29.06.2018 Author: Yuriy Zinin

How the Syrian Endgame Reported by the Middle Eastern Media

DAM

The recent removal of a total of 13 checkpoints in the center of Damascus that followed the liberation of the Eastern and Southern Ghouta from radical jihadists that tormented the civilian population of the Syrian capital with their never-ending shelling, provoked a positive response in the Middle East media.

This development is widely discussed in the context of the successes of the Syrian armed forces that have been regaining control over the better part of their country’s territory. Thus, the communication routes between the provinces, in particular the Homs-Hama highway that has been swept clear of terrorist elements and mines, so explosions is a rare occurrence on it these days.

An ever increasing number of Arab feel compelled to recognize the new realities of Syria, the fact that Damascus has withstood more than seven years of continuous war with the support of allies, among which was Russia. A number of articles are focusing on the role Russian Air Corps played in establishing today’s ground realities in Syria.

Among the headlines, one can find “Putin is the most important player in the region” (Al-Watan, Egypt), “Why was Russia’s victory in the Syrian crisis both impactful and historical?” (Rai Al-Yaum, London), “Moscow limits Iran’s influence and paves the way to a political settlement in Syria “(Al-Bayan, UAE), etc.

Russia has scored a clear victory in Syria, says a Lebanese researcher Hasan Mneinam of the Washington Institute of the Middle East Studies. It assisted its ally, Damascus, in its goals to repel all the the attempts to bring down the legitimate government of Syria. It is important that, by resolving the Syrian crisis, the Russian Federation was able to achieve at the regional level the balance between the forces that seemed incapable of agreeing on a compromise. Among them one can find Israel, Turkey and Iran …

Moscow is perceived as an important mediator that is capable of preventing clashes between Israel and Iran. The merit of Russian diplomacy is that it advocated the unification of Geneva, Astana and Sochi talks into one joint process.

The peculiarity of the crisis that arose in 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic was that it was largely provoked by the media coverage of the even, along with the military, religious and other factors that played a role in the destabilization of the country.

At least 60 different TV channels from across the region were tasked with spreading lies against the Syrian authorities and the people of the country, along with an accountable number of Internet portals, print media, and individual bloggers.

Here, for the first time, modern media capabilities have been tested by the West to push forward its agenda.

A large choir anti-Syrian voices is being paid by the constant flow of petrodollars. Those who advance anti-Syrian agenda act in the same style: they voice dubious claims that are based on statements made by all sorts of anonymous activists, all aimed against the legitimate government in a bid to manipulate the public opinion. In the repertoire of the authors there is a set of abstracts notions, of which the most commonly used are: “atrocities of government forces and massacres of civilians”, “use of WMDs against children”, strikes of Russian air forces aimed at the civilian infrastructure”. All those unconfirmed statements are used as a tool of triggering unscrupulous use of the international law, to justify the adoption of unilateral decisions in the UN for the West to be able to intervene in the affairs of the sovereign Syrian state and to discredit Russia.

But Syria, its leaders, its soldiers, its people refused to bow down and give up their fight. That’s why we’re witnessing a bitter end of a countless myriads of various terrorist groups, including the largest of them known as ISIS, although their remnants are still resisting. According to the pro-Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, the so-called opposition “got knocked out“.

The negative image of the Syrian government and its loyal troops created by propagandists on behalf of the West, served them a bad service. Those forces that were supposedly doomed to fail managed to get an upper hand to the surprise of those who started believing in the lies that they were themselves fabricating.

Now such media sources have to make an attempt to save face. Recently, a number of new notions started appearing in their rhetorics. A number of authors argue that it is easier to wage war against the terrorist grouping of ISIS and the opposition than establishing actual peace in Syria. They are trying to prove that for the “regime” of Damascus, the advancement of the political process marks the end of its military-political system, etc. The goal is obvious – to cheer those who failed, to slow down the course of the peace settlement and the Geneva process, to present peace as an impossible feast.

Particular attention is drawn to the relations in the triangle between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran. The authors frantically search for hidden meaning in the statements of official representatives of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran, spread rumors about the existing arguments between the parties, while predicting future disagreement between them.

Even though Damscus is getting an upper hand on the field of battle, a massive media assault against Syria and its allies continues. This, of course, complicates the struggle for political settlement in the country, but will not be able to reverse those gains that the people of Syria managed to secure at the expense of their own sweat and blood.

Yury Zinin, Leading Research Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.


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