"Of course everybody knows that these armed groups are in fact mostly mercenaries paid by foreign governments. But also it's clear now that two foreign governments want to continue this fight and that inside Syria these armed groups are not having commanders anymore and are becoming criminal gangs rather than military or political groups," said Meyssan in an interview with Fars News Agency.
Thierry Meyssan is a prominent French journalist and the founder of the Voltaire Network, a multilingual website dedicated to the analysis of international developments, with a special focus on the Middle East issues.
Meyssan has been in Syria since the beginning of the unrest and violence in the Arab country and has published several reports of the activities and operations of the terrorists and armed groups against the innocent civilians there.
What follows is the text of Fars News Agency's interview with Thierry Meyssan about the current political situation in Syria and the violation of Eid al-Adha ceasefire by the armed groups.
Q: The Syrian government had reached an agreement with the terrorists to implement a 4-day ceasefire on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, but the terrorists unilaterally violated the ceasefire and attacked civilians in Damascus and other cities. What's your viewpoint?
A: First, we cannot say that the terrorists are the same as the armed groups. If we want to implement ceasefire, we must recognize that these armed groups are partners. But the problem is that it's difficult to know who the chiefs and commanders of these armed groups are. The ceasefire was negotiated by Lakhdar Brahimi between the Syrian government and some foreign governments which have influence on these armed groups. There was no direct talk with the armed groups. Of course everybody knows that these armed groups are in fact mostly mercenaries paid by foreign governments. But also it's clear now that two foreign governments want to continue this fight and that inside Syria these armed groups are not having commanders anymore and are becoming criminal gangs rather than military or political groups.
Q: What would have happened had the Syrian government violated the ceasefire? Of course a bunch of verbal attacks would be unleashed on the government of President Assad by the Western mainstream media, but they simply refused to criticize the armed groups, as you put it, for violating the ceasefire. What's your viewpoint?
A: The strategy used by the Syrian army was to suspend all the main routes inside the country during the ceasefire so that they could make sure that fighting would not break out if the armed groups violated the ceasefire. Some fights took place in some regions of the country, and it meant that a fraction of the armed groups were taking orders from France and Israel to continue battling, while the rest of the armed groups did not follow any orders. For the most of people in Syria, ceasefire was a real thing; a new atmosphere had been ruling some of the main cities and you could find many people in the restaurants, talking to each other in a calm environment. However, in some other regions, there were fights as well.
Q: Some Western countries have accused the Syrian government of not abiding by its responsibilities after the ceasefire. What's your idea? Was the Syrian government committed to ceasefire?
A: The Syrian government had previously accepted ceasefire twice, and each time it was used by NATO to send new weapons to Syria. So this time, the Syrian government accepted the ceasefire with some conditions, especially with the condition that it would be supervising the roads so that the ceasefire may not be used by some Western countries to smuggle weapons and continue the war. Of course the Syrian government tried to have ceasefire, because it was a main interest of the government to have ceasefire. We don't know if the violation of the ceasefire was simply on the side of the armed groups, or some members of the National Army had also violated the ceasefire. This is a great country, it's time of war, everybody is nervous and it's difficult for the government to implement the ceasefire to the full.
Q: What's your prediction for the future of unrest and conflict in Syria? Was the mission of Lakhdar Brahimi helpful in bringing peace back to Syria?
A: I think Lakhdar Brahimi's mission was not useful and constructive, but what is important is that there's an agreement between the US and Russia, which was made previously in Geneva in June, but this agreement was destroyed by the leaking of the information to some Western press that explained in details the involvement of Western special forces inside Syria, followed by the resignation of Kofi Annan. But after the failure of the attacks of mid-July and end of September by the armed groups, it is clear now that the US has decided to implement its agreement with Russia. So we are waiting for the nomination of a new Secretary of State after Ms. Clinton, and just after that we will have the announcement of peace inside the Security Council with the deployment of a group of peacekeeping forces, most of whom are Russians, and eventually, a new reconciliation government will take shape in Syria and the armed groups will collapse and we will have peace during the next year. What Lakhdar Brahimi is doing is to use this agreement to say that he has brokered it, but he doesn't have any role in the agreement at all.
Interview by Kourosh Ziabari