Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Long Arms of the Syrian Regime

Hussein Harmoush, the officer that had famously defected from the Syrian army at the start of the Syrian revolt, appears to have been abducted from a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey and spirited back into Syria. This is a deeply upsetting incident, and a message from the Syrian regime that nowhere is safe for people who have been effective in strengthening the uprising. The video of his 'confession' shows a much thinner man, with a lot of stubble, saying that he received weapons and logistical support from Khaddam, the former Vice President of Syria who fell out with the Assad regime and is currently in exile in Paris. These confessions should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, firstly because any confession under torture is probably false, and secondly because the Syrian regime has a habit, a bit like Stalin's Soviet Union, or Khomeini's Iran, of parading those who have fallen foul of the regime publicly and airing such confessions without recognising the absurdity of such a spectacle. No reasonable person could believe such nonsense, then again, this regime isn't very reasonable, so how would it know what is believable or not?

I take pity on Harmoush, if he is even still alive. What he must be going through at the hands of Assad's [in]security services must be horrific. Moral of the story, don't get caught.

1 comment:

Nobody said...

Some opposition activists claim he was abducted by the Turkish security and returned to Syria. It may be not so much about the long hand of the Syrian regime, but Turkey. Maybe Turkey has its own plans for the Syrian opposition. They have been repeatedly accused of promoting Muslim Brothers at the expense of other groups.

On the other hand, Turkey has gone remarkably quiet on Syria after Erdogan's last final and totally final ultimatum to Bashar has expired. Now Erdogan plays very busy with Cyprus and Israel. It may be that Turkey is doing just enough to keep her standing with the Arab Street, but they have no real desire to see Bashar go away