The mainstream media are describing the events in Syria as a "revolution", but it is more like an armed insurrection than a genuine revolution. Definitely there are reasons for social unrest in Syria including an increase in unemployment in recent years, but the majority of Syria's population (including the opponents of the Al Assad government) do not support the "protest movement". The protests are of a sectarian nature and do not address broader issues of social inequality, civil rights and unemployment. There have been giant pro-government rallies in Syria, yet they have received little coverage in the mainstream media or falsely reported as anti-government protests.
What's happening in Syria is a process of destabliziation along the same lines as Libya, supported by the West, Turkey and the Saudis. There is evidence that trained gunmen and snipers have targeted the police, the armed forces as well as unarmed civilians. Yet the mainstream media narrative is that the government forces are violently cracking down on "peaceful protesters".
Syria represents the last remaining secular state in the Arab world. It has a composite culture in which Muslims, Christians and Druze has co-existed for centuries. Its populist, anti-Imperialist and secular base is derived from the dominant Baath party. It supports the struggle of the Palestinian people. The main objective of the US-Turkey-Israel-Saudi alliance is to destroy the Syrian secular state and replace it with an Arab sheikdom or a compliant pro-US "democracy".
It seems a NATO-led intervention in Syria is on the drawing board. According to Israeli intelligence sources:
"NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Turkish high command are meanwhile drawing up plans for their first military step in Syria, which is to arm the rebels with weapons for combating the tanks and helicopters spearheading the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent. Instead of repeating the Libyan model of air strikes, NATO strategists are thinking more in terms of pouring large quantities of anti-tank and anti-air rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns into the protest centers for beating back the government armored forces." (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011)Turkey's military has undergone something of a major shift in recent months with General Necdet Ozel taking over as the Army and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The shift favours the Muslim Brotherhood and greater support for the armed rebels in Syria. Military sources confirm Syrian rebels "have been training in the use of the new weapons with Turkish military officers at makeshift installations in Turkish bases near the Syrian border." This raises the possibility of direct involvement of Turkish troops in the future.
The use of Islamist proxies to fight in wars for NATO should be no surprise to anyone by now. They have a long history of working together from the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war to the recent conflict in Libya. The commander of the Libyan rebels is none other Abdel Hakim Belhadj, an Al Qaeda asset, who fought with the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
BRIC countries such as Russia and China have so far resisted moves by NATO countries to get militarily involved in Syria. A lot depends how they will continue to support Syria as external pressures continue to grow. Syria is strategically important because of its location and its alliance with Iran. An attack on Syria could potentially plunge the country into a sectarian civil war and pave the way for an attack on Iran.