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‘Storm Of Damascus’: Reality Or Show? – OpEd


By Andrei Ontikov

Russia and China have vetoed the West’s draft of the UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria providing for tough sanctions against the authorities in Damascus, in case they do not fulfill a number of demands. Russia’s permanent representative in the UN Vitaly Churkin has cleared up the Moscow’s position: «It was a singularly one-sided draft. Threats of pressure and sanctions were exclusively addressed to the Syrian government. This does not reflect the actual situation in the country».

And the reality is that it is not the Syrian government that should be deterred, but the implacable opposition. Its detachments have openly announced the beginning of the «Volcano in Damascus – earthquake in Syria» plan implementation. In accordance to this plan, the rebels, by their own words, have flung about 30 thousand fighters on the capital of the country.

However, many observers, both in the region and abroad, consider this number to be tens of times overstated, and at issue is some kind of a propaganda operation. Russian orientalist Leonid Isaev comments:

«Until now the Syrian rebels could not establish a long-time control over a single city. If they manage to fulfill their plans, and Damascus surrenders, then, of course, the situation will change overnight. However, in point of fact, the current offensive is a gesture of despair. The Syrian army is still strong, and the rebel forces are not being replenished. Except money and weapons, there is no other help from the West so far. At least, until the Russian position remains tough. Nevertheless, as for the money, the Syrian opposition is receiving plenty of it. Meanwhile, the last meeting of the opposition in Cairo, just like the previous one, has ended with a quarrel between the oppositionists, who have failed to reach an agreement. The sponsors of the opposition are already beginning to doubt whether this project is worth their generous financial assistance. And rebels in Syria are beginning to run out of forces. Therefore, the so-called «Storm of Damascus» is a show, designed for restoring the financing of the irreconcilable opposition».

It is not surprising that the budget of the Syrian Spring project has long exceeded preliminary calculations of the sponsors. The original scenario of the Syrian crisis development had apparently presupposed a quick outcome.

According to a certain information, the radical oppositionists have been thoroughly trained for several years. Many people in the leadership of the Syrian National Council (SNA) are linked with the Western intelligence services. For example, Basma Kodmani, the member of the SNA Executive Bureau has worked for the U.S. research organizations associated with the CIA. Another SNA leader Rudvan Ziyade took part in the meeting of the Syrian opposition in Washington back in 2008. The opposition is being financed by organizations from the United States and the United Kingdom, and it goes without saying that these are public organizations.

It is well-known that the generous financing of the rebels also comes from some of the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf. Besides, according to some experts, the Syrian revolution is paid for with the money from Muammar Gaddafi’s accounts. At issue is the sum of 150-200 billion dollars, which were frozen at the beginning of the Libyan crisis, and then disappeared without a trace.

In any case, the “Syrian project” absorbs a lot of money, but there is no result yet. The regime in Damascus still parries a blow and keeps its firm position. As a result, the implacable opposition begins to organize performances in order to support its reputation in the eyes of the sponsors,. This also applies to the so-called «storm of Damascus», believes the Syrian military analyst Mohammed Isa:

«Now there are small armed groups in Damascus that are obviously under the control of Saudi Arabia. They are making sallies and shooting . But as soon as the security forces appear, the rebels immediately get lost, and after some time, those who have survived, make a sally in another quarter. They are making a lot of noise, but without any practical result. But at the same time, a detached observer may decide that a full-scale war is under way in Damascus».

Today it is difficult to assess the real scale of the Syrian rebels’ operations – the informational «smoke screen» over the places of the incidents is even denser, than smoke from real fires. And yet there is an impression that the script is coming to an end. And the question of the winner will be decided in the near future.


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

3 thoughts on “‘Storm Of Damascus’: Reality Or Show? – OpEd

  • July 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Russia is being stupid. After the end of the cold war, which Russia lost, it had a chance to improve its image, governance, modernise but it has taken the side bad regimes. Russia wants to take on the west. Russia lost the contest at the height of its power but wants to restart the confrontation. It is like a boxer who lost at the age of 18 and wants to enter the ring at 80.

    • July 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      This is not a story about reputations. This is a story about people fighting and dying. A lot of the dying is done by Syrians on both sides. Some of it is done by Libyan Mercenaries who are paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and directed by western special forces. Russia does not care about its reputation with respect to the absolute monarchs in the Gulf. It wants to base its policy on reality.

  • July 22, 2012 at 5:33 am

    True “revolutionaries” are those that are homegrown for many years. They begin with small but effective and most often non-violent methods.

    This was the way it was done in USA 200 years ago and in France at about the same time. Since then true revolutions have taken place in many places such as Russia, China, Viet Nam, Cuba, Africa (eg. ANC, Mau Mau,Frelimo &c.) In their prime time, Ghadafi and Mugabe were revolutionaries. The Afghan Muhadeen-Taliban could be included in that grouping.

    However what passed for “revolution” in Libya and looks at first blush to be similar in Syria, is an outside sponsorship of mercenaries with agendas that mesh with those of foreign interests.

    Russia and China are closer to the real truth here than is the “West’.


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