Transcript for Activist: Situation in Syria Since Attack 'Horrific in Many Ways'
Rami jarrah via Skype from Cairo -- is that Syria activists and co director of -- -- and a new media association which. Works with -- citizen journalists to verify events in conflict zones -- thank you for your time today. I wanted to ask about them what are your more recent tweets about fifteen hours ago you tweeted the worst is yet to come in Syria. -- to be to be totally -- -- -- most acute problem. The situation since the attack took place on the twenty -- -- this month. Has become. -- can in many ways. The altar area in in Damascus in which is a bunch of various. Actually -- -- takes about one point four million civilians. -- all ought to shouldn't opposing forces to Assad deployed in those areas but those areas the majority of those -- to. Inhabitants civilians. I just I just want to -- to one point and on the -- group who committed this crime. As the Syrians inside the country we we see what. That the Syrian regime has in no money used. This video footage which that the government itself has confirmed at this attracted to place but that it wasn't done by the regime but these videos have not been. -- Syrian state TV. This is to prevent -- solidarity. From Syrians across the country we have some Syrians in the in the -- I think that's -- on that's one aspect -- and saying that the government did commit this crime because they refused to -- -- -- -- -- those people in -- area plus the fact that the important -- become an embarrassing situation the government because -- -- a rebel controlled area and it's been that -- for many months almost a year and making civilians leave that area and then -- that is what's happening at the moment -- of civilians fleeing the area. Two neighboring neighboring areas the government continues to show even since then even while that you. Inspectors moved into those areas to inspect to -- -- the government -- against the Syrian government continues to show the other is just avoiding the ones that the -- -- at the time. Now when I say the worst is yet to -- I think there. The statements that are coming from the White House and trauma of countries that feel responsible -- in somewhat the -- but the situation in Syria. To make these statements -- statements and then to hesitate. This is only empowering us over the past few days the Syrian regime has begun moving military equipment large military which -- -- I don't know what. What equipment business but that equipment is being moved around inside. Residential areas and that being -- there and that -- that they're creating human shields I think the longer this goes on. Some make a statement like dark and normal to see any action is only empowering the -- -- And serious -- -- -- frightening -- argument that if something doesn't happen this is Assad telling his people. But there is no to help -- and initially I think -- you can you can talk was was it's our message Steve I want to get your. -- on that about that comment about the Red Line being drawn -- in fact chemical weapons were used in Syria. Well thank you the president has made it clear at this point that -- You know the Red Line is going to be enforced at least this is what they're saying and we expect. You know him to carry. Through with that. I think that the regime is feeling very confident. Because. You know there are a host of signals coming out of Washington because of perhaps an unprecedented number of you know leaks on the nature of this of this operation the impending. Operation to suggest that. The objectives. And the scope of the military operation will be very narrow will be really you know confined. -- that raises the concern I think. Among some in for and probably among many Syrians. That asset will feel as though he can ride this out he could absorb the blow. And then claimed that he stood up to the United States. -- -- It -- abstain from the use of chemical weapons to avoid a repeat attack. But continue well all the other aspects of his military operations in this in this civil war and I think you know if he were. To do that he he wouldn't it emerged somewhat empowered. As -- -- and you have stood against the Asad regime for years now. Is that -- he ought to Syria. Where you've been working. -- -- -- You'd be better against the -- -- regime. Years. And is that what drove you out of the country. Yes yes -- my case it's like arching concern over the two million Syrians were actually. They're because going to be wanted by the government. Children as it's -- -- defeating the world and want to by the government and how to lead in the -- finally it's hard to leave. The country I just I just -- -- to to something in regards to an intervening in Syria. And intervening from from the internal security is not something that's popular among serious it's not an -- of the Syrian people but the situation. Does that we have written well has become so horrific -- the Syrian government has continued to use a psychological fear factor in this camera Qatar is in -- -- it's all of that I -- commit these crimes. And I would not be -- before it. The idea of just punishing us out tree using chemical weapons I think this just didn't aides more destruction that could be seen in the Middle East. The Syrian government has been very clear it. About all it statements that it will cools of rupturing and at least I think they're very they're very intent on doing the longer -- in Powell. The more capable of doing. It -- the fact of the boxer is among -- today there is -- morale. A defeat that we're witnessing. -- people believed that the US is incapable. Of taking this action and I think that abdomen and it's is not going to help on the -- -- even at this attack is committed by. The rebels the people -- Rell has been Smart if that's a truck is only to take or progress that -- using chemical weapons. Initially I have to be told you this personal well -- consult our concern is to stop the killings across the country and most of these killings will not commit to which can record. It's so given that sentiment by the Syrian people there did they want to hear regime change from the White House because the White House has been very adamant to say. At that in fact would not be any objective. If the military strategy -- to -- in place. I don't want to sound like I'm just attraction. And I'm very thankful for any hope that that's been been offered by the US. But. That there is a hypocrite language. Not wanting to -- -- change even though there is a lot of support. And a lot of money that comes from from the US and a lot of cooperation -- -- opposition groups to -- -- -- change in Syria. -- I think what what we need in Syria is more direct language. More direct action. The situation in Syria is not. An ethical and the Syrian government has never used common sense -- I think international regulations allow international -- is the solution in Syria I don't think bait parliament vote. Hidden in in the UK is one that can see. Not look to successful auction just this incident I think what what is required is a step out of line because that's exactly what -- -- -- -- -- Has done and that's exactly what. Does she opened its Cuomo rehearsal for including Russia and Iran and the countries that actually support this encouraging what we require. Is something more consistent -- directs. The. Arab -- -- blamed the Asad regime for the chemical attacks. Does that give the US more leverage than for a strike in your opinion. I don't think that the two US. Waits to choose to seek support from from the Arab -- I think that the hesitation and it is what NASA is capable of doing and these statements that came from the -- -- -- That they are they welcomed this talk and that they will defend themselves. I think that. And have been saying -- we will defend ourselves could mean a lot of things that could mean possible it could mean. Iran it could mean Russia's. Indirect involvement. I really believed that Syria is it is that the states I believe that Syria has. And an ability to cools. A regional war. And I know that makes it sound like than we that should not be an intervention but the longer this goes. I think the more capable the Suzie Marie -- is of of causing. The. Program -- stay with us but Steve I wanna get your thoughts on a point that that -- had just made and that was that. That there could be a disconnect between what the US is done financially and what the US might do militarily. For the Syrians for the Syrian people. Well look I don't think it's so much of of mismatch or a short circuit really I think these are parallel. Activities because on the one hand you have would. The administration. Or reports on administration decisions. Relating to Covert action. The supply of weapons and equipment. Other things of that kind to opposition forces. You have US cooperation with cut Torre's and the saudis who have been putting. Very significant -- Amounts of weapons into Syria and you have significant. A US program to develop. The ability of local revolutionary councils in areas and Syria from which. Regime power has receded helping them govern the areas that they now control that they've taken away from the -- so. There's a lot going on in that sphere. And ultimately it's aimed at creating some kind of new Syria. Com and that Syria would not include assets OK so that's happening on that side you know on the on the other side you have this nonproliferation. Issue and I we can't lose sight of that there is enormous and international norm. You know you could kill people in a lot of different ways but one way you can't kill them is with chemical weapons. You know that's the norm and it's an established norm. And the thing about these these norms these traditions. And this is now -- legal tradition internationally is that somebody's got to enforce it. If it's not enforced what's to stop others from using -- in the same circumstances. Against the wrong people or internationally. What have you. And as it is you know the United States is if I can be course you know its stake in the United States is the stocky. You know for this kind of thing because the United States has an interest in enforcing and preserving a certain. Global order. Certain rules of the road you know that serve United States' interest in a lot of ways in the interest of its allies so you know. It's got that interest in doing -- it's also got the means because as we know from looking at what's just happened in Britain in the talk about French involvement and so forth. When it comes down to -- it's just the United States that has the military capability to enforce. The norm. And you know this is what in the US is you know stuck with us right now and I think the administration just looked at this -- -- -- You know the diocese can't walk away from this something it's got to be done. But you know. Were already pursuing the regime change piece of that in essence. In another channel. That from the administration's perspective. Doesn't settle the United States with ownership of the problem. You know for the next half a century or how -- long it'll take for Syria to reconstitute itself after what will be what will have -- with the terrible war. So I think. You know for the United States you know this really tested. Beasts and in the current. Issue really has to be a non proliferation issue. And the president has been really really clear about this in one of the interesting things. -- Contrast did you know that what the president has been saying with what prime minister Cameron said in the initial debate. In comments in British parliament. Is is this camera and made a connection between military strikes. For non proliferation reasons. And the possibility that these strikes would open the door to a political process. That might end the conflict in Syria. In up negotiated fashion which obviously didn't help the White House and it made it -- days ago and in the White House is. Isn't gonna go there hasn't gone there there really sticking to. Chemical weapons rationale. Which also enables the United States to justify military action on the basis of self defense. And not on other disputed. Rationales. Like the protection of endangered civilian populations. Rami. Your organization. Helps get information from countries that suppress the media so what are you hearing then. From those inside Syria right now. People who terrified. And it's it's that hesitation -- all the statements that -- hearing. Leaving people especially in in Damascus to -- On what's going to happen of the next few days. The Syrian agents making them all of preparation. For what they expect to be guitar. -- -- said that moving at a military equipment and shoot civilian. Residential areas this is needed just pushing -- couldn't she leave those areas. The situation inside the the that this we've we've in some regions in some areas of the country that this is not scripted that the Chinese actually. -- -- But I think that this is obvious that there that that it is there it's a lot of preparation and a lot of the video produced has -- coming serial. Over the past few days is to point about product heartfelt. We know that Syrian state television to actually set up -- -- -- costing location. Because they worry that that might -- originally location might be disconnected. I'm Syrian media is the main element that is used by the government to keep supporters. To reassure them that everything's OK and the government is -- -- -- Powell salute most of the video footage we've been seeing over the past few days. And votes are in addition to the fact that. The government has been trying to destroy any evidence of the chemical talking hold so I want to let the IR I know that there is in the in the intelligence report are told that that's going to be something. It involves. An officer in the army she says. That this was supposed to be a small scale -- talk time it it -- to pounds. We actually on the grounds there a number of sources that actually prove them as well because these missiles were launched from the same location they but the -- full. That with the setting usually comes from. And -- -- -- the -- available to the house. The -- that they're taught to be sure that it was a government committed to because state. Altitude here is that it would -- -- when you you actually sought to gain some experience of understanding windows those rockets to a flight from. That's just and because there are different areas are actually speak three children connected to each of and the areas that -- that the rockets were fired from have actually been identified by civilians. -- for how -- information supposed to be hostile to the UN the Syrian government isn't allowing UN inspectors to to go just anywhere allowing them to go to the honorees were hit. -- the areas that the that we think the rockets were launched from I think if they -- to head. And that would be substantial evidence to take on the -- religions -- and Clark. I and I wanted to ask you about this and -- obviously being a very vocal critic of the Asad regime have you ever been approached by the government either that. Recent days or the past weeks as this has become more intense. Whom we get there all by I don't say that this was so this wasn't directed -- -- but that was. Two. And officials in the Syrian government. As soon as a chemical detected Trace. That actually started to try and connect with the opposition. Because they want to defect. But this is something that we say seen since the beginning of the uprising where -- -- when when when when everything gets into amassed more people want to leave the region. And those people want welcomed this time because they were. Very much involved in the crackdown in the beginning stages. In towns of anyone approaching me directly into -- and witnessed anything. All right Rami jarrah and Kyra -- thank you for your time is Stephen how does al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. Fit into this. Well you know they're sort of you know matching. But the matching gruesome. But Kansas. To the political spectrum. On the one hand Lebanese -- -- Which. Was once referred to by. US deputy secretary of state as the a team of terrorism. Is heavily engaged in Syria they were mobilized by Iran which is -- patron. And -- they are Shiite. Which is to say -- from the opposite end of the Islamic. Religious spectrum from al-Qaeda. Which is. Very -- lead Sunday. And these these two groups are really sworn enemies and and the thing is that they typified. The wide range. Certainly on the opposition side of sentiment which ranges from moderate to. You know murderous Lee. Radical like al-Qaeda. In then on the other side. You know they -- the inclusion of his -- line. Gives the regime not only handed ideological. Impetus but it gives it a very serious military capability that it otherwise would have -- And I just conclude on this point by saying that it's. These two radical elements on each side al-Qaeda on the one and his -- on the other. That hit imparted the real military -- to their respective sides.
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