Assad’s ‘Crisis Cell’: leaked documents expose attempts to contain Syrian unrest


Highly classified documents from a covert Syrian government unit have exposed attempts by the regime to contain the unrest sweeping the country since March 2011, leaked reports exclusively obtained by Al Arabiya reveal this week.

One month into the anti-government protests across Syria, a “Crisis Cell,” was formed by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to monitor events and decide to tackle the unrest with military-led solutions.

The cell included top intelligence, government and security force figures who documented events across Syria, gathering information which would reach the president directly on a daily basis.

But one member of the cell was not part of any official Syrian party. In fact, he was a political science graduate who has admitted to “knowing the right people” in getting the position that he did.

Abdel-Majeed Barakat leaked copies of the Crisis Cell’s official documentation, which included security force reports on deaths across the country, statements which admitted the mistreatment of Syrian civilians and prisoners and notes on the Syrian opposition.

Barakat has identified himself by appearing in an exclusive two-part Al Arabiya program, in which the leaked documents have been presented with analysis and an insight into the members of the cell, including their disagreements and conflicting views.

The program also asks why Barakat decided to leak the reports and flee Syria, risking a great deal to expose Syrian regime truths to the world.

(Written by Eman el-Shenawi)