Tensions in Syria escalate as the pro-government media takes a critical stance on the ongoing demonstrations in As-Suwayda. In a move that adds fuel to an already complex situation, the Al-Baath newspaper, closely associated with Bashar al-Assad’s ruling party, uses strong language to belittle the protesters, accusing them of being manipulated by foreign interests and asserting that their impact is overblown.
The unfolding events shed light on the widening gap between the government and those voicing their discontent, underscoring the deep-rooted challenges facing the nation in its pursuit of stability and change.
Under the headline “A Fallacy, Not a Revival: Unmasking Deceit and Charlatans,” the newspaper dismisses the ongoing protests, stating that millions of Syrian students are poised to return to school, signifying the normalcy in the country despite social media accounts depicting a different narrative. It asserts that life in Syria continues unperturbed and that the portrayal by Western media is far from accurate.
The recent attack vividly underscores the government’s heightened concern over the ongoing protests within communities that had previously displayed support or neutrality towards the Assad regime.
Accusations of External Manipulation
The newspaper proceeds to undermine the authenticity of the As-Suwayda protests, casting doubts on the intentions of the demonstrators. It alleges that these participants, including prominent sheikhs, are acting as pawns for foreign interests, particularly those of America and Erdogan. The article accuses them of receiving monetary support from the United States and Israel, aiming to create division within the nation.
Bassam Hashem, the editorial writer and chief editor of the newspaper, not only insults the protesters but also ridicules their efforts. He paints a picture of the demonstrators as masked agents inciting fear and intimidation, attempting to manipulate the situation for their advantage.
Alleged Neo-Conservative Ploys
The editorial suggests that the actions of the demonstrators play into the hands of neo-conservative agendas. It claims that Washington is using these protests as leverage to pressure policy changes that align with American and Israeli interests. The article warns that this could lead to the establishment of protectorates or federations in Syria.
The article further denigrates the As-Suwayda demonstrators as “Facebook revolutionaries,” accusing them of indulging in obscene language and cheap provocation. It questions whether their acceptance of external financial support implies liberation and challenges the sincerity of their cause.
Hashem concludes with a defiant tone, rallying behind President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Army. He reiterates the Baath Party’s commitment to these figures and asserts that their leadership remains pivotal amid the ongoing unrest.
Despite the criticism and allegations, the demonstrations in As-Suwayda have persisted for four consecutive days. The protesters, including influential sheikhs, continue to demand the removal of Bashar al-Assad and his regime. Their strikes and sit-ins have caused disruptions across the province, with over 40 locations affected by the general strike and civil disobedience movement.
Beyond As-Suwayda, popular discontent is spreading across regions controlled by Assad’s militia, including the Syrian coast. The deteriorating living conditions, economic hardships, and a lack of political solutions have fueled these demonstrations, underscoring the ongoing challenges faced by Syrians after nearly 13 years of conflict.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.