Franklin Lamb – Damascus
Damascus Street Notes
“Who does that obnoxious woman think she is?” demanded a staffer who works in the Russian Embassy media office inside the vast windowless soviet style massive high walled compound which belongs to his country, here in Damascus.
“We want to commend the Russian government for finally waking up to the reality and acknowledging that the regime’s days are numbered.”
According to Viktor,
“Bodganov said nothing really new. And we will issue a clarification of this very soon.”
“Everyone knows that theoretically the foreign-backed rebels could win. This is not new and is always a possibility during an uprising. But Mrs. Nuland surely knows that the Syrian government has purposely pulled back from some rural areas where there is mainly open space in order to concentrate its forces to protect population centers. This is very basic military strategy and has been employed throughout history. In the English language I think it’s called something like a “strategic retreat or tactical redeployment. It is reprehensible for western and Gulf media to use our Middle East envoys statement as a form of psychological warfare while deceiving the media.”
“Of course we have contingency plans for an evacuation of our citizens if necessary. This is quite normal and we and other countries have such plans for Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, the Gulf countries and Palestine, among others. Russia has not lessened its support for Syria and to think otherwise is yet another in the series on many miscalculations from Washington.”
“We would like to remark that he (Bogdanov) has made no statements or special interviews with journalists in the last days. We once again confirm the principled Russian position about the lack of any alternative to a political solution in Syria.”
The results of a student led survey of grocery stores in Damascus, completed on 12/12/12, shows the following increases in food prices that citizens here must pay against the backdrop of current unemployment figures currently estimated by economists as being between 40-60 percent of the population.
December 2012: at least 29 Syrian students and their teacher were killed after a rebel mortar attack hit their school in a camp for displaced people near Damascus. (AFP)