(MENAFN - Arab News) The Assad regime's disregard for reality has reached the extent that it has accused a Syrian Christian opposition member of being a Salafi Jihadist; can anything be more absurd? Is it still possible to believe this regime that has abused lies and falsified the facts in such a blunt manner? This is utterly absurd.
Two days ago, the Assad regime accused the young Christian Syrian Yara Michel Chammas - dubbed "Yasmina of Syria", of belonging to the Salafi Jihadist trend. Yara, aged 21, is one of the Syrian youths who supported the Syrian revolution since its outbreak, mobilizing more areas to rebel against Assad. The story of "Yasmina of Syria" shows it is now very difficult to believe this regime under any circumstances. This regime claims, falsely, to be a protector of minorities, and this is what some Lebanese Christians affiliated to Assad are propagating in Washington, but then it arrests a young Christian woman on charges of belonging to the Salafi Jihadist current! This regime, i.e. that of the tyrant Assad, said that it had accepted Kofi Annan's mission, yet it then opened fire on a delegation of international observers, branding them "fear-stricken" (for fleeing as a result). After all that Kofi Annan comes out to say that Assad must avoid instigating a critical moment, and not use heavy weaponry against civilians, who are being killed every day at the hands of Assad's forces. This is both amazing and puzzling, but who is really telling lies here?
If the international community and Annan want to buy time then they should say so publicly, and justify their reasons, but if they actually believe in Assad's promises, then this is a scandal like no other. Assad's forces are playing a game of cat and mouse with the "fear stricken" international observers; wherever the observers are deployed Assad's forces target another Syrian city, and the killings continue unabated at its usual pace. The scandal does not stop here, but there are those in the region, the majority of them Sunnis, who now feel that their blood is being cheapened, and that the international community is carrying out a conspiracy against them. Yet many Arab politicians do not say this publicly in front of their Western counterparts, namely that this is what is being felt by politicians, intellectuals and most importantly the Arab public, behind closed doors, and that this feeling has deepened significantly after the famous statements of the Russian foreign minister, who said that some countries in the region want to install Sunni rule in Syria after the fall of Assad.
It does not stop here either, as some in our region are also citing the names of certain Western writers, specifically Americans, who were notorious for their coverage of the region's issues after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in America, and at the time wrote a lot about Sunni regimes in the region, and Sunni ideology in general. Yet these same journalists now remain completely silent about the horrific crimes that are taking place in Syria, despite the deaths of over 11,000 Syrians.
How can the international community and Annan still believe the tyrant Assad, even as today he accuses a young Christian woman of belonging to the Salafi Jihadist current? How can they believe that he will abide by any agreement or truce? This is puzzling and truly amazing.
The author is editor in chief of Asharq Al-Awsat.
Write to him at email@example.com