There is confusing and disturbing information relating to the Arab League, its thought process, its dealings with the Syrian crisis, and likewise how it perceives the Syrian opposition. I have obtained this information from several high-level, informed and reputable sources. For the purpose of this article I will reveal such information in an effort to seek the truth, without judgments, so we can give the Arab League the benefit of the doubt, and allow it to explain its position.
Firstly, a senior official in the Arab League told one of my sources, during his explanation of the situation in Syria and how to deal with it that in Syria there are only three thousand activists who are orchestrating the demonstrations there. The Bashar al-Assad regime is looking for them, and when it finds them, it will be able to eliminate the threat. The Arab League official believes that this will then put a stop to everything in Syria, and indeed he expects the al-Assad regime to be able to put a stop to everything by the end of February!
This is not all of course, as the same Arab League official also doubted the seriousness of the Syrian opposition, and questioned its sources of funding. He said that the opposition has “a lot of money…and I wish I knew where it was from!”
Also, some of those in the Arab League are advocates of the idea that there is a Gulf state providing the al-Assad regime with devices to detect mobile phones. My information, derived from an informed source directly concerned with the Syrian file, suggests that this theory is also being promoted by the al-Assad regime itself, and there are those in the Arab world who believe it. However, according to my high-level source, intelligence information dictates that the Iranians are the ones supplying the al-Assad regime with such devices, especially as the Iranian authorities did the same thing during the outbreak of the Green Revolution in Iran, and were then able to crush the revolution through the use of such technology.
Again, the revelations do not stop here, as I have received incredible information revealing that the reason behind the late arrival of Gulf observers in Syria, and the fact that they did not join up with the rest of the Arab observers, was the refusal of the al-Assad regime to facilitate the entry of Qatari observers, a stance which prompted all Gulf states to refrain from sending their observers in solidarity with the Qatari delegation. This caused great embarrassment for the Arab League, which ultimately moved the situation forwards, and the al-Assad regime then allowed Qatari observers to enter, with the rest of the Gulf responding in due course!
What is worse still, according to my relevant sources, is that the al-Assad regime did not originally agree to sign the protocol to send Arab observers to Syria. Then the Arab League, through one of its officials, leaked the fact that the head of the Arab observer delegation would be the Sudanese General Mustafa al-Dabi. This made the al-Assad regime feel more comfortable, and so it subsequently agreed and signed the protocol to send the Arab observer delegation!
All of the above raises genuine concern about the thought process, and the intentions, of the Arab League towards the Syrian revolution. Either there is genuine bewilderment or confusion inside the League, or there are unsavory intentions in order to maintain the al-Assad regime, despite all the crimes it has committed. Here one can only say: What does the Arab League think about this information? This is especially considering all the statements issued by the Arab League, trying to convince the Arabs and the Syrians that it is acting in the interests of the unarmed Syrians, but that is not what’s happening on the ground, and not what some senior Arab officials are saying.
So what is really happening?
Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, where this article first appeared on Jan. 9, 2012