5 March 2012
Syrian state television endorsed on Saturday, 3 March 2012 at midday, the information reported two weeks earlier by Voltaire Network that the Syrian National Army had captured 18 French agents in Homs and the 19th in Azouz.
This confirmation attests to the failure of the negotiations between Paris and Damascus and that Syria has decided to ramp up the pressure on France by going public on the case.
Since February 14, our information has been widely relayed and commented on by the international press, except in France. This can be explained by the difficulty of the French media to ascertain such sensitive facts.
The Turkish press has confirmed the arrest of the 19th French agent, explaining that he was arrested together with four Turkish agents, notwithstanding Ankara’s commitment on 7 February to withdraw all its men in exchange for the return of 49 prisoners.
On the Lebanese Al-Manar television channel, Mohammad Dirar Jamo reported an exchange between the French Foreign Minister and his Saudi counterpart on the sidelines of the “Friends of Syria” conference in Tunis. Prince Saud al-Faysal bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud lamented that France had not recognized the Syrian National Council as the sole legitimate representative of Syria. Alain Juppe allegedly replied: “If I do, who will return our soldiers?”
Below is an example of the news processing by Russia Today:
In any event, the French press remains silent while this information already out there. This attitude points to the restoration of military censorship in France. This device, which was the norm during the Algerian war half a century ago, enabled imperialist sectors to conceal from the public historical events that were absorbed into the national consciousness only decades later (e.g. the massacre of Algerians in Paris, October 17, 1961).
The question is whether President Sarkozy has restored military censorship for reasons of national interest or for personal reasons, that is to say, to avoid having to account to his fellow citizens for the secret war that he led against Syria in violation of the Constitution.
The French will vote for a new president in a two-round elections to be held on 22 April and 6 May 2012.
Source: “France restores military censorship”, Voltaire Network, 5 March 2012, www.voltairenet.org/a173007