An alternative view from Damascus on a war we barely understand

French journalist Thierry Meyssan, with a controversial record, has sent the following dispatch from Damascus, in French, and below is a rough translation from a French friend of mine. One more piece of the exceedingly complex Syrian puzzle:

Damas, the volcano’s been extinguished

This is 23 July at 7 pm and we are standing on Mount Qassioum, the mountain above Damascus. The mountain is in an elongated shape, so is the city of Damascus. The city counts about 6 million inhabitants. Certainly a bit more now, as fighting in the surrounding towns have forced people to withdraw and find refuge in the capital.

But the capital has itself been under attack a few days ago by waves of Contras, most of them from Jordan but also from Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. Each time they have rushed towards, and first taken the border check points, and then tried to progress towards the capital city.

Often in the desert, they have been stopped in their progression and plane raids to prevent them from getting here. But some have managed to get here and attack the capital, just as a coup beheaded the military command.

So how are things now regarding the battle of Damascus? Well, it’s in fact over. Right now only one fighting pocket remains, in the Jobar area which we can’t quite see here because it’s in this direction but very far away. You can’t see any sign of it from here because it’s street combat, no artillery is being used, except, every now and again, for the occasional mortar fired.

The rest of the city is absolutely calm right now. Right behind me you can see Umayyad Square, the largest square in Damascus, and on the slightly right inside of the square, stands the national television building, which is today the subject of total protection, because as you know NATO absolutely wants to destroy it. Yesterday, there was an important battle which ended with a Contras pocket formed in the orchards in Mazzeh. Mazzeh is the embassies district and these orchards are located right on its edge and stretch all the way to the Kafar Sousa district, like the Bois de Vincennes in Paris for example. They are mostly prickly pear tree orchards, but also lots of other trees, not only cacti. So there was an important battle there yesterday and the day before, which ended with the surrender or the death of the attackers who in this case were essentially Egyptian and Jordanian. Whereas in Jobar, those trapped there were mostly Somali and Sudanese. You can still see a bit of smoke because the orchards are still on fire. It’s impossible to extinguish fire amidst those giant cacti, those prickly pear trees. Note that there are no helicopters, no planes, nothing of the sort. All is back to normal in Damascus, the Syrian army can enjoy its victory, and the Syrian people can finally rest after a few terrible days imposed on them by foreign powers who send here their mercenaries.”