Assad’s new strategy, sort of, calls for fighting protests with pro-Assad rallies and promote civil strife.
Tuesday June 21, 2011
Assad issues new amnesty for offenses committed before June 20… Assad loyalists and the security forces open fire on unarmed protesters killing 7 in the cities of Homs, Hama and Mayadeen… Meanwhile, Syrian army continues its scorched earth crackdown on communities along the Turkish border… Russian PM, Valdimir Putin, urges international community to increase pressure on the Assads to stop their violent crackdown, saying that Russian has no special relations with or interests in Syria, all while rejecting military intervention… Paris urges UN to break its silence on Syria… UN Secretary General joins Turkish, Canadian and European officials in expressing disappointment in Assad’s speech and demanding true democratic reforms…
Point being, global leaders should think twice before invading countries like Libya and telling the world it was done for humanitarian purposes. They should think twice before wholeheartedly backing a militarized opposition movement while standing silent and providing limited support to an entirely peaceful one.
In addressing the issue of why reform in Syria has been so slow, Assad said there was "no reason" -- a reference to his speech on March 30 in which he dismissed the notion that a group of hardliners or "old guard" figures were holding Assad back.
(Reuters) - Syrian security forces shot dead seven people on Tuesday during clashes in two cities between President Bashar al-Assad's loyalists and protesters demanding his removal, a leading activist said.
So the test is: in any reform President Assad has in mind, will he sack his brother, the murderous Maher al-Assad, who is directing the army’s response? The answer is clearly “no”, and his promises are therefore equally clearly hollow.
When reports of the deaths first emerged, spokesperson for the opposition Ammar Abdulhamid told me it meant one of two things: either the regime had already committed a massacre; or they were just about to. The latter proved correct and as state television reported the deaths variously – first 40, then 80, then 120 – the regime moved into the town and brutally suppressed the protesters.
The European Union is close to a deal on a new list of sanctions on Syria that would likely include 10 individuals and entities, including three from Iran, EU diplomats told Dow Jones Newswires. The new sanctions would take effect Friday when the names would be published in the EU’s Official Journal. This round of sanctions, the third in the last seven weeks, was reportedly under consideration as of last week.
“We share the concerns of the Turkish government. I think you see that their concern is mounting, particularly as they've had to handle all of these refugees and have done so with such a big -- a big heart. But clearly, Turkish patience appears to be wearing thin, and we share all of their humanitarian and political concerns," Nuland said.
Hama / Hama City: a showdown between protesters and loyalists