The USG Open Source Center translates or paraphrases reactions in the Qatari Arabic press to the Lebanese Shiite organization, Hizbullah, having successfully intervened in Syria to help the Baath regime retake the town of Qusair. Qatar has been a major backer of the largely Sunni Arab rebels.
Qatari Newspapers Condemn Hizballah’s Involvement in Syrian Crisis
Thursday, June 13,
Document Type: OSC Summary
On 10 and 11 June Qatari news websites were observed to carry opinion pieces reacting to the latest GCC action against Hizballah and the latter’s involvement in Syria, particularly in Al-Qusayr. The following is a roundup of these commentaries and editorials:
Doha Al-Sharq Online in Arabic — Website of leading, large-circulation independent daily with close ties to the ruling family; focuses on domestic affairs; URL: http://www.al-sharq.com/
–on 10 June carries a 700-word commentary saying to Bashar al-Asad and Hasan Nasrallah that their “fake victory” in Al-Qusayr is a “big disappointment” and a “scandal.” The commentator says that the leadership of Hizballah “fooled us with its political speech that uses the words of ‘resistance’ and ‘Zionist entity’,” and that what happened in Al-Qusayr revealed that Hizballah is actually “working for the devil” and it “unveiled a sectarian side” which is “dangerous.”
The commentator goes on to say that Al-Asad and Nasrallah should not “cheer” after what happened in Al-Qusayr because the Al-Asad forces have regained several neighborhoods in revolutionary cities before, “but the revolutionaries regained them quickly and Al-Qusayr will not be an exception.”
Doha Al-Sharq Online in Arabic on 10 June carries a 600-word commentary saying that “the stupid Hizballah, which was hurting Lebanon for years with its nasty steps that destroyed the Lebanese people, is coming fast now toward Syria following the dictates of its masters, the [Iranian] mullahs, to destroy both countries in the name of ‘the resistance’.”
The commentator says: “We are wondering, was Hizballah able to control even one Israeli spot since its foundation; did it draw to Lebanon anything other than devastation and the residing of a half million refugees who were sheltered by Syrians in Al-Qusayr and Damascus, and all of this just for capturing two soldiers?”
Doha Al-Sharq Online in Arabic on 10 June carries a 600-word commentary saying that the corpses of the members of Nasrallah’s party that are returning to Lebanon are a “real expression of the dark fate that awaits this party accompanied by its ally the Syrian regime and its master the Iranian regime.”
The commentator says that the loss is not only “the failure of the battle or the war; but the amount of human and military losses of the Syrian regime’s army and of the hordes of gangs supporting him (Al-Asad), especially the evil Iranian party, augmented the cost of this limited progress and made it more costly than any regular military operation.”
The commentator says that the Al-Qusayr battle is “just one round of the big upcoming jihadist rounds that will teach the Iranian takfiri, (holding other Muslims as infidels) terrorist, and fascist enemy the meaning of fighting and martyrdom.”
Doha Al-Sharq Online in Arabic on 11 June carries a 500-word commentary saying that Hizballah “disappointed millions of Arab people” because of its “involvement in the genocide of the Syrian people in order to protect Bashar al-Asad’s regime.” The commentator further says that Hizballah’s “victory is fake,” and that this “intervention” shows that Al-Asad and his regime “could not regain” the cities and villages controlled by the opposition and the Free Syrian Army.
The commentator says that the “plan that is followed now according to the instruction of the wali-e faqih in Tehran is to control the Syrian coast’s cities and link them to the Lebanese Beqaa valley that extends to south Lebanon as a preparation to form a sectarian state all along the coast, with Iranian support and Russian protection.” The writer adds that “sectarian Iranian, Iraqi, and other forces” are being prepared to implement the plan in northeast Syria “before the coming Geneva II conference.”
Doha Al-Watan Online in Arabic — Website of large-circulation, independent daily with close ties to the ruling family; focuses on domestic affairs; URL: http:// www.al-watan.com/
— on 11 June carries an 800-word commentary that is “an open message addressed to Hasan Nasrallah,” secretary general of the party that “became deceptive, subversive, and the sectarian sedition fomenter in the Arab world.”
The commentator criticizes the celebrations held in a southern suburb of the Lebanese capital following the falling of the small Al-Qusayr village as if “you regained the Shebaa Farms [from Israel] or liberated the occupied Syrian Golan.” The commentator asks Nasrallah “where is the conscience of the resistance in what you have done?!” and says that it is not part of the concepts of the resistance to change from “the resistance party that suffered from the Israeli aggression to a truculent organization that assaults its Muslim brother who is seeking freedom and dignity and to stab him in the back,” even though the Syrian people “welcomed your parents and relatives when Israel attacked your villages in south Lebanon in 2006.”
The commentator asks Nasrallah: “How do you call for taking back your rights from the Israeli occupier and at the same time you are taking the rights of the Syrian from his hands?” The commentator goes on to say “there is no doubt that sliding into the battlefield contributed in fueling the sectarian dimension in the Syrian crisis and contributed also in stirring up the Arab and Muslim streets against you”; adding, “Congratulations on your malicious and vigorous efforts to recreate a civil war in your country.” The writer says: “Your unjustified military interference in the Syrian crisis showed the lie of the ‘resistance’ that you are promoting; you distorted the image of your ‘resistant’ party, which lost all its remaining nationalist credibility and Hizballah became in the eyes of the people of the region an evil, terrorist party that defends the interests and the plans of Iran.”
He writes: “You became the most hated figure in the Arab world after your latest truculent speech” and because “you are using the ‘resistance arms’ one more time against a bloc other than the Israeli one.” The commentator concludes: “The preventive measures, I am not saying punitive, that the GCC will take against your interests will be painful for you and for the thousands of Lebanese who are affiliated to you and who are practicing their investment activities for your benefit in the region, which means that you will be the reason their back will be broken under the pretext of protecting the back of the resistance.”
Doha Al-Watan Online in Arabic on 11 June carries a 600-word commentary saying: “We condemn Hizballah’s criminal activities in Syria, Lebanon, and the entire region. Moreover, we consider that Hizballah does not, in any case, represent the Shiites; but represents Iran’s interests in the region and follows its orders, with all humiliation and slavishness.” The commentator criticizes the preachers who are “inciting” the people against “our Shiite brothers” just because of the “guilt of Hizballah” and its involvement in Syria.
Doha Al-Rayah Online in Arabic — Website of influential, independent daily with close ties to the ruling family; focuses on domestic affairs; URL: http://www.raya.com/
— on 11 June carries a 500-word commentary saying that “it is not by coincidence that the Syrian regime was able to achieve this victory with the help of elements from Hizballah,” adding that “this was on 5 June 2013, 46 years after the Arab defeat in 1967.”
The commentary points out that what has been achieved in Al-Qusayr reflects “the deepness of the defeat,” adding that “the defeats have been ongoing since the defeat of 1967.” The commentary notes: “They are in fact ‘victories,’ just like the Syrian regime likes to name them. However, they are victories with a taste of defeat.”
The commentary wonders whether Israel has ever had another goal but to preserve the Syrian regime, which, it says, offered the Golan to Israel on “a silver plate.” The commentary points out that the Syrian regime withdrew its troops from Lebanon but offered the country to Iran. The commentary adds that Iran has an armed militia in Lebanon capable at anytime of invading any area in Lebanon or overthrowing any government that does not match its taste.
The commentary goes on to say that amid the Iranian hegemony over Lebanon, it is now required to “justify the failure to achieve victory over Israel or even negotiate with it to restore the Golan by achieving victory over the Syrian regime.” The commentary wonders whether there is another goal behind this policy besides dividing Syria, which means achieving victory over Syria because of the failure to defeat the Syrian people.
Doha Al-Rayah Online in Arabic on 11 June carries a 500-word editorial saying that the position issued by the general secretariat of the GCC that “condemned the interference of Hizballah in the Syrian crisis is an unprecedented Gulf response that will have a big effect on the party and its future especially when the GCC decided to take financial steps against the party’s interests in the Gulf countries.” The editorial says that “the interference of Hizballah in Syria undermined the rest of the Lebanese State’s image and made Lebanon involved in a potential Sunni-Shiite outburst in the region,” which made the Syrian people’s revolution a “sectarian war that threatens the fate of Lebanon and the whole region.” The editorial further says that the “interference of Hizballah in the bloodshed of the fellow Syrian people unveiled the truth about this party and its real goals that go beyond the borders of Lebanon and the Arab homeland.”