Assad marked Independence Day with renewed bloodshed as protesters demand his ouster.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Assad security forces behave like invaders from outer space, the brainwashing that they have been subjected to over the years is enormous, and, as we have seen in the case of Gaddafi, regimes are always willing to provide lucrative incentives as reward for loyalty in times of crisis.
Be that as it may, today marks a true turning point in Syria’s revolution: it’s now an open showdown between people that want to be free and will no longer compromise on freedom, seeing that previous experiences taught them that such compromises, no matter how reasonable they might appear at the time, always lead back to slavery and serfdom, and a gang of thugs willing and desperate to hold on to power at any cost. The so-called silent majority as well as the international community will have to choose their side soon.
Meanwhile the not-so-silent majority in many cities and towns across the country celebrated Syria’s Day of Independence by protesting and calling for toppling the regime.
Homs. There were demonstrations in different parts of the city as well as in surrounding towns, including Rastan and Talbiseh. Earlier reports of bombardment using tanks and artillery could not be confirmed, but tanks and artillery were indeed used to lay siege to both towns. Still, gunfire left dozens of casualties, and 4 were confirmed dead so far, although the final too is expected to rise once dust settles down, especially considering that hospitals are often prevented from providing adequate treatment to the wounded and that security officers have been seen brutalizing the wounded even as they lay in hospital beds. Three fatalities were also reported in Bab Al-Sibaa, especially near the local hospital where protesters tried to prevent security forces from entering and arresting the wounded and from snatching the bodies of the dead, as became customary for them to do since the beginning of the Revolution in an attempt to minimize number of funerals. Meanwhile, eyewitness
Lattakia: security crackdowns were reported in both the Sleibeh and Tabiat neighborhoods. No exact words yet on fatalities and casualties, but early reports from a number of eyewitnesses in the city mention that dozens have fallen. It’s very difficult to get confirmation at this stage. If these figures and those reported from Homs and Mouaddamiyyah below are confirmed, this could be the bloodiest day of the revolution.
Mouaddammiyyah: major protests demanding regime fall were also met with heavy security crackdown, including tear gas and life ammunition. At one point, reports claimed that women threw boiling water and gas tanks at the security officers s they stormed the narrow streets of the neighborhood. Five fatalities are reported.
Suweida: a small protest of 300 participants was brutally dispersed by local authorities, and though no major casualties were reported, the incident generated much anger among Syria’s Druze community whose capital is Suweida. Hani Al-Atrash, the grandson of Sultan Pasha Al-Atrash, the Grandfather of the Syrian Revolution that paved the way to independence was among the brutalized. As such, what started as small protests could quickly snowball into a major development that could engulf the entire governorate following the example of neighboring Deraa.