Al Jazeera has gained access to confidential documents prepared for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by his intelligence and security chiefs on the conflict raging across the nation.
The files – passed to the network by Abdel Majid Barakat, a former member of Assad’s government – provide an insight into the regime’s strategy to suppress anti-government protests, including the lengths it went to protect its strongholds.
The documents, which run hundreds of pages long, reveal the establishment of what has been referred to as the Crisis Management Cell, formed to deal with the security situation.
The following are several of the documents in their original Arabic form, alongside our own English translation.
Document 1: The plan to deal with Aleppo
– The document says that the Syrian government will provide financial and moral support to pro-government residents.
– It says the government will provide citizens with basic needs and it will pursue traders who have monopolies.
– It outlines plans to limit tensions among students at Aleppo university.
– It outlines plans for a security and military presence in order to re-assure residents who feel unsafe in Aleppo.
Document 2: Sent from the Syrian government to the foreign minister
(Signed by the head of parliament, and dated 11/10/11)
– The document says information has been received indicating that Arab and Gulf Arab officials have tried to convince their friends in the Syrian government, as well as Syrian ambassadors in their countries, to defect.
– The document says European countries have also done the same.
– It says Syrian ambassadors were offered asylum and benefits in those countries if they made the choice to defect.
Document 3: A document signed by the head of parliament
– The document says sports clubs and religious groups in all provinces are not doing enough to criticise the conspiracy against Syria.
– The document asks for the implementation of a media plan that focuses on criticising the conspiracy against Syria.
Document 4: A presidential decree
– The document calls for increased punishment for those involved in public gatherings, which includes up to one year in prison.
– The decree is signed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Document 5: Figures about the protests
– The document outlines orders given to different divisions (general intelligence, airforce intelligence, political security) to cover six squares in Damascus to prevent protests from occurring there.
– The document says the head of the security apparatus should prevent protesters in Damascus suburbs and in Deraa from reaching Damascus by setting up roadblocks on all roads leading to the capital.
– The document gives details of pro-government groups that will be sent to flashpoint areas.