Syria: opposition blames Daraya massacre on the army

August 27, 2012

Some 200 bodies were found in the town of Daraya outside Damascus, Syrian opposition activists reported blaming the massacre on pro-Assad forces. The opposition also claims that 370 people have been killed across Syria over the past 24 hours.

Opposition activists made a video footage showing the aftermath of the massacre and posted it online. They claim that the bodies were found in houses and basements around Daraya. Women and children are among the victims. The opposition insists that the civilians were killed by the army during house-to-house raids at the end of last week.

No independent confirmation has been made to these claims yet. Previously, opposition activists had been repeatedly caught red-handed staging fake massacre videos. The UN observer mission in Syria is over. The West and its allies in some Gulf monarchies did everything they could to expel international observers from the country. Russia strongly opposed the initiative, saying that the presence of UN observers was vital since they could have helped in shedding some light on the Daraya massacre.

There has been no response from state-run media on the issue. Their reports only say that the army forced rebels to leave Daraya. Earlier, Damascus reported that Daraya was occupied by militants who had been previously ousted from the capital. Daraya is a Sunni town, where opposition activists were said to hold their weapons and food supplies.

President Bashar Assad, though indirectly, commented on the incident by saying that his army is committed to withstand foreign conspiracy attacks. Analyst for the Institute of the Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Science, Boris Dolgov, comments:

“There is a core of good sense in Mr. Assad`s statement. Syria’s division into several states according to ethnic and religious groups has long been a much-talked about issue. What is the purpose? The division is necessary to weaken the Syria-Iran tandem and the Hezbollah Shia Islamic militant group and its wing in the Palestinian Authority which are openly supported by Damascus and Tehran.”

Some experts equal the Syrian crisis to the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Many opposition activists in Syria are Islamists who receive strong support from the West and the Gulf. Exactly like mujahideen in Afghanistan three decades ago.

This all has resulted in the Syrian conflict now resembling a real war, says Sergei Demidenko, expert for the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis:

“Tensions are rising each day as well as the death toll. Both sides use all methods they have. Opposition activists are using Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya channels as means of information warfare. Assad`s opponents won’t leave him for good. It means that new violent outbreaks and Damascus raids are very likely. Mercenaries are arriving in Syria, and regular arms supplies will probably continue for several more months.”

Opposition sources in Syria recently reported that Vice President Farouk a-Shara defected to the rebel side, which can be viewed as an episode of the information warfare. Mr. Shara took part in talks with an Iranian delegation in Damascus on Sunday, which resulted in the ultimatum: negotiations with the opposition can take place only after a ceasefire is agreed.

source: The Voice of Russia

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