Mediamax's exclusive interview with Dr Mudar Barakat, Syrian political observer and analyst
- Armenian-populated town Kessab, which was previously considered as one of the safest places in Syria, was attacked last week by gunmen from Turkey. Why did they choose Kessab as a target?
- First of all, these are not ordinary gunmen, they are mercenaries employed and trained by the Erdogan neo-fascist government of Turkey, financed by the Wahhabi rulers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, and armed by USA, Israel and their European allies.
According to a report published in Oct. 2013 by an American research centre, most of these terrorists are Islamic jihadists, the majority of them are from Saudi Arabia (19 700 terrorists, 4 000 of them have been killed already), Tunisia, Turkey, Chechnya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and many other countries.
Syrian government proved with documents and evidence presented to the UN that terrorists from 87 countries have been involved in this war so far.
According to the same U.S. research center, about 58 000 foreign terrorists have been killed inside Syria between April 2011 and Dec 2013, evidently 247 of them are Turkish army officers and soldiers, many others are arrested.
Since we clarified who these terrorists are, you can notice that this idiotic attack on the city of Kassab was timed to be during Erdogan’s presence in Antakya to launch his election campaign. You can also notice the intentions of Erdogan’s performance during his speech in Antakya, where he announced the attack on a Syrian air fighter by Turkish F16, which happened at the time of the speech. According to Turkish opposition sources, he was planning to announce the fall of Kassab during the speech as a symbolic victory for his government in support of the so called “Syrian revolution”, which means a lot for his party in the coming elections, and it shows his American and Israeli masters that he succeeded where the Wahhabis and Muslim brotherhood rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have failed again and again over the last three years. He also thinks that such success can convince the Americans and the Israelis that there is still a chance to bring down the Syrian regime, and that the planned attack on Lattakia is now possible. But more importantly, he intended to use such success in convincing the Americans to relieve him from his fears of losing power to his new enemy and ex-friend Fathullah Gulin.
Erdogan is targeting Kassab’s symbolic importance as a peaceful Syrian cradle for the Armenian families who survived the massacres enforced by his Ottoman predecessors and it seems that this attack on Kassab is a reflection of Erdogan’s anger towards Armenia’s stand against his terrorism in Syria, and a reminder of the 1915 massacres and the historical Turkish animosity towards the Armenians.
However, just like what happens in any war zone, most of the citizens of Kassab had moved to Lattakia before the arrival of the terrorists and the people of Lattakia opened there homes for them, knowing that it will not be long until Kassab is cleaned from Erdogan’s terrorists. About 450 Armenian families have left Kassab to Latakia, some of them are now staying in the Armenian Church.
On March 26, a parliament delegation arrived to Lattakia from Armenia to witness and condemn the terrorist Turkish behavior. The Armenian members of Parliament met with the Kassab families, and while they were there, an Armenian-Syrian citizen arrived from Kassab after he was lucky enough to escape from the terrorists who kidnapped him and was interviewed by the representative of the Syrian TV who was accompanying the Armenian Parliament delegation.
- Are there ongoing fights at the moment near Kessab? What measures does the Syrian government take to get back Kessab as heavy fire is reported in the area?
- The terrorists managed to take the boarders cross point near Kassab, and from there they advanced towards the west side of the city of Kassab, they are equipped with anti-aircraft missiles as well as a number of American tanks, all provided by Turkish army.
Early in the morning today [March 26], the Syrian army regained the strategic base (point 45), and surrounded the entire region around Kassab. The Syrian army is entering the city from the east, other units are surrounding the terrorists in the west part of the city.
The fighting is still ongoing, it will continue until all terrorists are killed. I was told that 1200 terrorists, among them Turkish officers and soldiers, were killed in the fights that took place over the night.
- The gunmen crossed the Syrian border from Turkey, so can we say the Turkish government supported them and even organized these attacks?
- Yes, as I said earlier, Erdogan’s government provided the terrorists with American tanks, anti-air-craft missiles, and also provided them with the Turkish army logistic support, in addition to participating directly with the terrorists in the attack.
-The Turkish border is reported to be open now and large-scale robbery is said to take place in Kessab.
- Perhaps they haven’t managed yet to do that on a large scale, but surely, Erdogan’s gangsters will repeat in Kassab what they did in Aleppo, they have robbed everything in Aleppo, the museums, the mosques, the houses, the markets.
- The Al Nusra group still controls Kessab. How long will they be able to resist?
- I can assure you that they will not succeed in facing the national Syrian army, just like in other areas, they will be smashed under the boots of the Syrian soldiers.
- What steps do the Syrian officials take to prevent attacks on Christians?
- The Syrian Christians don’t differ from any other Syrians - this is how we have always lived together.
Christianity was born in Syria, and the Syrian soldiers are defending the whole nation. This is why our enemies, Erdogan and all others, failed and will always fail to achieve their goals since they can’t comprehend our way of living in Syria. The Syrian people believe that some Syrians have been Muslims for 1400 years, other Syrians have been Christians for 2014 years, but we all have been Syrians for more than 10 000 years.
- There are rumors that an attack on Lattakia will happen soon. What do you think?
- Analyzing the situation, I can assure you that this will not happen since these terrorists have failed to achieve easier goals during the past three years despite the fact that they were at the peak of their strength and had the best international support. Now the situation has changed, the Syrian army is attacking rather than defending, also the US and international support for the rebels is at its’ weakest after the many victories achieved by the Syrian army.
Narine Daneghyan talked to Mudar Barakat.