The UN announced that it would be removing non-essential staff from its offices in Syria amid growing concern over the violent crackdown by government forces on demonstrators. The Syrian government responded by inviting UN personnel to observe the situation on the ground.
The director of the Canadian-based Center for Research on Globalization, Michel Chossudovsky, says much of the hype around the Syrian crisis originates from abroad.
"I think this is really part of the public relations campaign to demonize the Syrian government without addressing the fundamental causes of the crisis," he stated. "This is not a peaceful protest movement. It is an armed insurrection by gunmen, well-organized mercenaries and it is confirmed not only by government sources. Let's examine: Israeli and Lebanese sources say the protesters have heavy machine guns...Since when are peaceful civilian protesters armed with heavy machine guns?... And I think the United Nations decided to remove its non-essential staff essentially as a prelude to tomorrow's [August 18] session at the UN Security Council."
Chossudovsky says he spent a couple of months in Syria earlier this year and left the country shortly before the violence started in mid-March. He is sure the insurgency there is part of an intelligence operation.
"The question we have to ask ourselves: Who are the sources of this killing, what are the underlying causes of this insurrection?" he said. "We are dealing with a big lie as far as the media information is concerned. The media doesn't even have access to Syria. They are drumming up the whole series of interpretations which are, from my point, totally biased."