U.S. military action has been averted and a major agreement over chemical weapons has been set by Russia, the U.S. and Syria, effectively legitimizing the Assad regime through Syria’s 2014 presidential elections.
The Twitter account of Syrian state news agency SANA emphasized that Syria was working within the framework of international law at the U.N., and quoted Syrian and Russian officials referring to the threat of “terrorism,” its stand-in term for Syrian rebels.
The non-governmental website Syria News quoted Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid Muallem responding positively to the Security Council resolution:
Muallem: “The Security Council resolution on chemical weapons is consistent with the position of Syria about our accession to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and we are serious about the implementation of our commitments, regardless of other’s readings who are essentially conspirators against Syria.”
Government supporters also felt confident after the UNGA meeting, expressing their views on Twitter and other social media:
After successive victories on the ground, #Syria wins at the #UN… Victory is close, God willing.
Syrian state media also pointed to the steadfast nature of Assad’s global allies. Its line was that while the West has failed to live up to its promises to the Syrian opposition, the government has had consistent material and diplomatic support from Russia, China and its other allies.
As for public relations, Damascus has carefully chosen its interviews. On the heels of sit-downs with CBS’s Charlie Rose and Fox News, Assad made time for interviews with CCTV and TeleSUR, the state-run TV channel of Venezuela, another Assad ally. Pro-government daily al-Watan then relayed the latter to the domestic Syrian audience, highlighting a selection of Assad’s remarks:
“Any political action to resolve the [Syrian] crisis requires the cessation of terrorism.
“Whoever calls for foreign intervention is a traitor and no one accepts his words.
“The United States should not interfere in global affairs; even [America’s] closest allies do not trust her.
“Obama’s speeches are filled with allegations of fraud and many lies.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered Kerry evidence of terrorists using chemical weapons. Moscow and Beijing refuse any scenario authorizing the use of force against Syria. In an interview with the Washington Post, Lavrov said that “the jihadists come from many European countries, Russia included, and some even from the United States; hundreds of them — if you take Europe, Russia and the U.S. — are fighting in the ranks of extremist groups. I am sure they are gaining the experience which they will try to use after the Syrian crisis is over elsewhere, first and foremost in their home countries. This is our common threat. “
Damascus quotes from senior Russian officials figure prominently in regime media.
The government newspaper Tishreen basked in Lavrov’s challenge to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:
: http://beta.syriadeeply.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Screen-Shot-2013-09-30-at-11.42.05-AM.png : http://beta.syriadeeply.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Screen-Shot-2013-09-30-at-11.42.52-AM.png : http://beta.syriadeeply.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Screen-Shot-2013-09-30-at-11.43.41-AM.png : http://beta.syriadeeply.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Screen-Shot-2013-09-30-at-11.44.11-AM.png : http://beta.syriadeeply.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Screen-Shot-2013-09-30-at-11.44.48-AM.png