Alexei Lyakhov, Konstantin Garibov
In separate interviews with the Voice of Russia broadcast on Thursday, a host of experts mentioned a new round of information warfare against Bashar Assad and a possible new provocation against Russia.
They commented on information about Western and Middle Eastern special services recruiting a group of those who have Slavic features to play a role of Russian “mercenaries” allegedly captured by Syrian opposition fighters.
Russian media quoted a well-informed anonymous source as saying that “actors” are being selected in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. They all must handle guns and be in the know about anti-aircraft systems. According to a script, they should recognize their being recruited by Russian special services with the aim of supporting the army of Bashar Assad. Also, they ought to say that they have allegedly been delivered to Syria by warships.
According to the source, all this will be filmed in Turkey or Jordan, where fake demolished Syrian towns have already been built in the form of large-scale theatrical scenery.
Sergei Demidenko of the Institute of Strategic Assessments and Analysis in Moscow singles out similar ghost towns that were built in Qatar and Saudi Arabia to discredit the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
“According to Goebbels, if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it, Demidenko says. As for the above-mentioned provocation, it aims to provoke an international uproar by creating an image of the wicked Syrian regime only supported by Russia and Iran. Those staging the provocation want to show that but for this support, the Assad regime could have long been ousted.”
The goal of video clips about Russian “mercenaries” in Syria is to save face of those who is backing the Syrian opposition’s fight against Bashar Assad, says Semyon Bagdasarov of the Moscow-based Center for Analytical Studies.
“It is open secret that the Free Syrian Army and other military groups include citizens of Libya, Afghanistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Bagdasarov says. As for the video clip, its aims to discredit Russia’s position and show that Russians take part in hostilities in Syria. This is an information warfare which is planned by the United States, Turkey and other countries.”
Confidential information about the planned provocation against Damascus and Moscow coincided with the beginning of talks on Syria in Geneva, where UN-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi meets a group of Russian and US diplomats. Earlier, Moscow confirmed its readiness to cooperate with Western and Middle Eastern partners to effectively contribute to resolving the Syrian crisis. In this regard, the possible new provocation against Russia will hardly help implement this task.