2 min read  | Politics, Reports

Syrians underwhelmed by Obama, turn toward conspiracy theories


September 13, 2013

September 13, 2013

By Syria Direct news staff

AMMAN: After a promised military strike against regime targets in Syria failed to materialize this week, pro-opposition Syrians denounced Obama and called the American president and the international community’s failure to act against the Syrian leader as being complicit in Assad’s actions.  

“Most of us feel disappointed about such a weak speech by Obama,” said Susan Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Revolutionary Command Council in Outer Damascus province. With more than 100,000 Syrians dead since March 2011, “it is like saying to Assad, kill as many Syrians as you want but just don’t use chemical weapons,” Ahmed said.

The French government concluded in a report earlier this month using declassified information that the Syrian regime’s counts 1,000 tons of chemical agents at its disposal.

“I think the entire world is plotting against the Syrian people,” said Abdulrazaq Asa’d, a university student.

Syrian regime opponents said that Western support for Israel comes at the detriment of the Free Syrian Army. “The West’s interests are with Bashar [al-Assad] and won’t betray him because the Assad family protected Israel’s borders for 40 years,” said Abu Sufian, a leader of the FSA’s Al-Farouq Brigade in Homs.

“After Obama’s hestitation, people started saying that Obama cares about Israel’s interests above Syria’s,” said Abu Jaffar al-Mugarbil, a well-known field activist in Homs.

Other Syrians, not necessarily active in the revolution, said they tuned out Obama’s speech as mere talk. “It was the same as the previous speech and it’s a waste of time, Obama’s words are nonsense – that is why I went to sleep and ignored it,” said Horiya Naqshbindi, 23, a Kurdish-Syrian from Damascus.

“I didn’t hear the speech because what is more important than Obama is the wounded breathing their last breaths and injuries requiring immediate treatment,” said Azad Wali, a surgeon at an Aleppo field hospital.

Homs-based activist Abu Jaffar al-Mugarbil questioned Obama’s logic, noting that Assad has promised to hand over chemical weapons stockpiles but in the words of Obama has lost legitimacy as a leader.

“Does Mr. Obama think that the liar Assad, who denied possession of chemical weapons, will now hand it all over?” al-Mugarbil asked. “What if he handed over part of it, and attacks the people with the other part – then he will accuse the extremists.”

Nearly one dozen Syrians interviewed for this article said they believed their fate was in the hands of larger powers vying for control.

“It is a game of interests and dividing the spoils, not more,” Ahmed said. 

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