Thursday, May 12, 2011

In the Valley of Assad!

More tanks and more deaths in more cities mean regime crisis far from over, despite assertions to the contrary by Assad officials.    

Wednesday 11, 2011
13 residents are reported dead in the town of Al-Harra in the province of Horan in southern Syria as army troops invade the city * The neighborhoods of Bab Amr and Bab Al-Sibaa in Homs came under heavy gunfire and shelling on and off throughout the day leaving a reported 19 residents dead * The massive detention campaign conducted by Assad security forces continues unabated with over 500 arrest over the last two days according to reports by human rights groups. 
Ammar Abdulhamid, a leading Syrian dissident who lives in the U.S., told Fox News that the administration's initial response "was too tentative" and based on a mistaken belief that Assad was still interested in reform, but Abdulhamid thinks the administration's position has gradually changed, becoming "more critical." He welcomed the recent sanctions imposed on key figures of the Syrian regime, and he said that he's hoping that the U.S. also imposes sanctions against Assad and calls for him to go or face prosecution at the International Criminal Court… Meanwhile, human rights activist Abdulhamid is urging Obama not to forget Syria during his upcoming speech to the Muslim world. He urges the president to tell the world that Assad must step down show the world the U.S. is on "the side of the people" who have been fighting for reforms in the region -- not abandon support for the American values of democracy and freedom.
Ammar Abdulhamid and his family were forced to leave Syria in 2005 because of their political activity. When recent protests began, the whole family jumped in - online - to be a part of it. Mother, father and two college-aged kids are spending their nights on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Dick talks with Ammar and his daughter Oula about their involvement.



Homs / Bab Amr: welcome to Assad’s Syria where each dawn is celebrated with gunfire and artillery shells
Damascus / Mouaddamiyyah: plumes of smoke over the city in the morning of May 10
Homs: tanks and army vehicles in the city
Homs / Talbisseh: a nightly protest despite the curfew. Chants against Assad “the enemy of God” and each of his family members
Deraa / Jassem: The Real Snipers of Horan County
Deraa / Jassem: security people in the streets
Damascus / Barzeh: this little town has been holding this nightly ritual of chanting slogan against the regime for over 4 weeks.
Lattakia / Sleibeh: despite the heavy security presence and the weeks-long neighborhood siege, residents conducted this demonstration in support of Deraa, Banyas and other besieged communities.
Hama / May 6: a recently uploaded video shows security forces in action
Damascus / Bucain: funeral for martyred protester Mouayyad Afandar. Chants “the people want to topple the regime”
Idlib: activists who made this video claim that it shows high school students being trained by security to carry arms against protesters
The Syrian-Jordanian Border: contrary to claims by Syrian TV, the borders are indeed closed
Deraa City: A house destroyed by army troops, graffiti on the wall says: This is Assad’s Syria – the Deraa Wars