Perhaps the only “facts” you can rely on about Syria are those you would gather on your own if you were actually there. It’s safe to assume everything we read about Syria is coming from someone pushing an agenda and may or may not be factual. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
Anyone accepting “facts” or narratives from any interested party is being played.
About the only “fact” the public knows with any verifiable certainty about Syria is that much of that nation is in ruins.Virtually everything else presented as “fact” is propaganda intended to serve one of the competing narratives or discredit one or more competing narratives.
Consider a partial list of “interested parties” spinning their own narratives about events in Syria: (in no particular order)
1. The government of Syria
2. non-state groups in Syria
4. Saudi Arabia
7. The government of Iraq
8. non-state groups in Iraq
9. The Kurds
13. The Gulf States
15. United States
16. European Union
17. United Kingdom
This doesn’t exhaust the list of interested parties, of course, but it reflects the spectrum of competing parties pushing a narrative that supports their particular interests in Syria. These include neighboring countries, regional powers, global powers and consumers of Syrian energy exports.
Let’s start by stating the obvious: the only way to gain any reasonably accurate contexts / assessments in Syria is to have intelligence-gathering assets on the ground. The situation is fluid and complex, and there is no one “truth.”
The only way to get any sort of handle on the military, political and social dynamics in Syria is to have access to the intelligence assessments and analyses of all the major players’ intelligence agencies.
In other words, the only way to get any sort of comprehensive understanding would be to have a WikiLeaks-type release of intelligence reports from all the players with assets on the ground and have a deep enough understanding of the history and culture of the region to make sense of the overlaps, conflicts, nuances and shades of “truth” presented in each of the intel reports.
Only by collating “raw” (unfiltered) intel gathered on the ground and high-level analysis by those directing the various interests’ campaigns could a reasonably accurate assessment be assembled.
To continue reading: What Do We Know About Syria? Next to Nothing