Article by the Belgian journalist Kris Janssen
MEDIA WORKGROUP SYRIA – 24 November 2013 – Last Tuesday, November 19th, the Iranian embassy in Beirut was bombed resulting in the death of the cultural attaché, the wife of another diplomat, 4 security guards and many innocent civilians totalling the number of casualties to 25 people dead and over 150 wounded.
An al-Qaeda-linked group, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, has claimed responsibility for the twin bombings.
The timing of this terrorist act is no coincidence. The Syrian army has been on the offensive during the last couple of weeks achieving victory over victory all over the country: Damascus countryside, Dar’a, Aleppo, Homs and the grandiose victory of the Syrian army in the Qalamoun area resulting in the liberation of the town of Qara after heavy bombardments on rebel positions around the town.
This continuous string of victories has numerous reasons but three reasons stand out. The moral superiority of the Syrian army which after almost 3 years of war and counting more than 20,000 martyrs in its ranks is bestowed with the highest moral spirit since the beginning of the war. A second reason of its successes is the support of the civilian population for the Syrian national army which is seen as the saviour and protector of the homeland. A third reason is that after 3 years of battle and fighting terrorism the Syrian army is, from a tactical point of view, stronger than ever. During three years of battle the army learned and experienced that fighting terrorism requests another strategy than a classical war scenario against another regular army asks. The Syrian army had to learn how to deal with small terrorist cells, snipers, suicide bombers, etc… . The army had to adapt to this new situation the hard way resulting in heavy material and humanitarian losses but nowadays it has adapted and mastered the art of guerilla tactics and asymmetric warfare. In an utmost efficient way it is now applying these new tactics by cutting supply roads of and encircling the terrorist dens followed by finishing off the isolated cells. The liberation of Qara is a good example of this new tactic.
Suffering heavy losses and in total disarray, the al-Qaeda affiliated groups are becoming more and more impotent on Syrian soil and in an act of despair they turned their eyes on a target abroad. Iran, a loyal ally of Syria, became the victim of a blind terror attack with a clear goal ; targeting innocent people and terrifying the Iranian nation naively hoping that such a cowardly act would sway the Iranians away from their moral support for the Syrian people. The naivety of this thinking shows how detached from reality the terrorist groups became. Everyone who knows and understands the strong, friendly, historical and strategic bonds between the Iranian and Syrian people is aware that such a blind act of despair and terror will only make the Iranian principle and ethical stances stronger and will, contrary to the expectations and hopes of these inhuman perpetrators, strengthen the ties between the Syrian and Iranian people.
Antwerp, 24th of November 2013