Syrian President Bashar Assad is finding out who his friends really are. On the friendly side stands, loyally, Hezbollah. In a shocking display of bad timing, Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah, announced his undying love for Butcher Assad on Ashura, the Shia holiday commemorating the murder of Husayn, the Prophet’s grandson. What better day to reaffirm your support for a mass murderer than a sorrowful holiday remembering the tragic slaughter of Shia refugees and fighters and the murder of the Prophet’s grandson? The NYT has the story:
Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, made a rare public appearance on Tuesday in Beirut, reiterating his support for Syria’s government and saying that his group was better trained and armed than ever…For weeks, Hezbollah seemed less strident in its public support for Mr. Assad, but Mr. Nasrallah’s statements on Tuesday were unambiguous. He called Mr. Assad’s government “a resistance regime” and lashed out at Mr. Assad’s opponents, in particular an opposition group organized in Turkey, the Syrian National Council, accusing them of working with the United States and Israel to try to “destroy Syria.”
Hamas, meanwhile, is tip-toeing away from what looks like a sinking ship. The WSJ outlines the decision:
After the Arab League decision to impose sanctions on Damascus last month, Hamas leaders were admonished by Ankara and Doha.“Qatar and Turkey urged us to leave Syria immediately,” said a senior Hamas security official who has relocated to Gaza from Damascus. “They said, ‘Have you no shame? It’s enough. You have to get out.'”
Better late than never. Hamas at least understands it stands to gain more from a relationship with Qatar and Turkey than with Butcher Assad. The implications of a Hamas-Turkey linkup is going to keep the lights burning late in foreign ministries around the world, but the friendship makes sense to both parties.Back in Damascus, the Great ophthalmologist has slipped into an alternate reality, as viewers can see from his interview with Barbara Walters this week. Those killed over the past few months in Syria were soldiers and police battling armed gangs, he said. The people love him, the government is in control, he hasn’t ordered any sort of crackdown.Assad’s message is to the few friends he still has. He is here to stay, and will fight the resistance until his last breath. Hezbollah will not abandon him, and neither will Tehran. The battle lines are drawn, and fighters are digging in for the long haul. Fighting continues throughout Syria. Sanctions appear to be hitting the Syrian people harder than the government, and hitting them hard.The struggle is becoming more bitter and more sectarian by the day. The days are short and the nights are cold; in Syria at least the Arab winter has arrived.