NIGHTWATCH: Syria Ground Truth Tars West

08 Wild Cards, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Government, IO Impotency, Media, Peace Intelligence

Syria- Arab Red Crescent: Over the past few days, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has distributed aid provided by the ICRC to the Bab Amr district of Homs, to Hama, Idlib, Deraa, rural Damascus and the eastern city of Raqqa, a spokesman said. “The situation as we see it today is that unrest is still taking place mainly in Hama, Deraa, Rural Damascus, Homs and Idlib,” Hassan said.

Opposition spokespeople said fighting was continuing in Homs, but a Red Crescent spokesman said that it was not. The Red Crescent teams found that the population had evacuated the Baba Amr district of Homs and the rest of the city was quiet.

Comment: The arrival of Red Crescent teams has provided some much needed ground truth reporting. The fighting in Homs has been concentrated in the Baba Amr district, which the government seized, but the residents apparently  had already left along with the fighters. It remains difficult to develop a relatively unbiased view of the struggle. The Red Crescent statements suggest actual confrontations are occuring in neighborhoods of five towns and cities. That is far more limited than international media suggest.

Syria-UK: British Prime Minister David Cameron told a hearing at the House of Commons Liaison Committee on 6 March that his government provided cash and equipment to foreign-backed rebels in Syria under such names as “aid agencies” operating on the ground to help deliver food and emergency medical supplies, Press TV reported.

Comment: Cameron’s admission in conjunction with the capture of the 13 French officers tends to confirm the Syrian government’s consistent contention that the opposition is made up of outside troublemakers. The Syrian situation in no way resembles Libya and accurate information is just not available, except one fact. There are no significant and sustained operations in Damascus. Until they occur, the regime will survive.

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