The only answer the Assads seem to have to all the challenges they face these days is to arrest, torture and kill. Pro-Assad Militias and security forces flood the streets as the countdown to Ramadan continues.
Wednesday July 27, 2011
11 protesters killed and 300 arrested in the Damascene suburb of Kanakar in a move deemed to come as retribution against local residents who for weeks have been spearheading efforts to send food supplies to the inhabitants of the besieged communities in Deraa … 50 tanks took part in an early morning raid against the neighborhood of Al-Ramel in the coastal city of Lattakia after weeks of daily protests calling on Bashar Al-Assad to leave the country. No word yet on casualties ... 200 youth activists and protest leaders from inside Syria and the larger expat community gathered in Istanbul for a 4-day training and coordination workshop … Hundreds if lawyers held a sit-in next to the District Court demanding severing of ties between their union and the security apparatuses … Authorities in Aleppo shot down Amneh Mosque after days of repeated protests …
The activists said troops also arrested at least 250 people during Wednesday's raid in the town of Kanaker. They say residents threw stones and burned tires to try to stop the advancing troops, who were backed by a bulldozer and army tanks.
The program for Souedie, also known as Syrian Heavy, comprises seven 80,000-metric-ton cargoes for shipment from its Mediterranean port of Tartous. That’s equivalent to 125,006 barrels a day, compared with 87,058 barrels a day in July.
To get his message out, Ford has bypassed the government-controlled news media, using his Facebook page to condemn the government’s killing of prisoners, expose its lies and endorse what he describes as “the right of all Syrians -- and people of all countries -- to express their opinions freely and in a climate of mutual respect.”
Republican and Democratic members of a House panel complain that the effort to calibrate a message on Syria has failed to make it clear the U.S. stands with protesters against an oppressive regime.
House Foreign Affairs Committee | Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia hearing: “Axis of Abuse: U.S. Human Rights Policy toward Iran and Syria”
“Just over 6 months ago, Syria, the Iranian regime’s closest ally in the region, joined Tehran in its ruthlessly repression of pro-democracy protests. As protests intensified, the Assad regime initiated a brutal crackdown that continues even as we speak. It is now estimated that over 1,800 Syrians have been killed, over 10,000 have been jailed, approximately 30,000 have been internally displaced, and nearly 12,000 fled to neighboring Turkey where over 8,500 remain.” The Honorable Steve Chabot, Chairman
“…to be very clear, I am not, NOT, calling for U.S. military intervention in Syria. It is both unwise and unnecessary. But there is considerably more that we can and must do. First, and above all, the President must call for Bashar al-Assad, that blood-soaked dictator, to step down. Trifling with the lives of the people of Syria with nuanced, lawyerly phrases like ‘President Assad must understand that he is not indispensible’ is shameful. Noting that Assad has ‘lost legitimacy’ without calling for his immediate departure from power trivializes the deaths of thousands of Syrians killed by Assad’s thugs.” U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY).
“It is up to the Syrian people to determine what the next chapter holds for Syria, as the pages turn toward a new future for this country. President Asad can delay or obstruct it but he cannot, however, stop it. As Syrians chart their own future, we hope to see the participation of and respect for all of Syria’s ethnic and religious groups. The United States, and the international community, want to see a Syria that is unified, where tolerance, respect for human rights, and equality are the norm. This is the message that Ambassador Ford is delivering to the Syrian leadership and the Syrian people.
“Even as the Syrian military and security forces have besieged communities, conducted mass arrests, targeted emergency medical responders, tortured children, shot peaceful protestors with impunity, cut off water, internet and telephone services, and barred an independent media, people have found ways to get their word out, through reports, images and videos taken by brave demonstrators and smuggled out.
“In bearing witness to these terrible abuses, the United States has and will continue to play a crucial role. Demonstrators have peacefully protested for over a month in Hama, where over 10,000 Syrians were killed in 1982 by President Asad's father Hafez Asad. The people of Hama kept their peace despite their tragic history and the provocation of the government forces besieging the city. We know this precisely because our representative to the Syrian people, Ambassador Ford, toured Hama and reported seeing no protestors carrying weapons, nor damage to government buildings. We also know through Ambassador Ford’s reports that, contrary to the promises from President Asad to end the emergency law and follow proper judicial procedures, the government has carried out sweeps and arrested dozens of peaceful demonstrators in Hama, and reports of torture in custody are well documented. Our diplomatic presence and watchfulness is an important way for us to gain independent knowledge of the facts, to show support for Syrians’ rights, and to speak directly and plainly to the Syrian government about the need to change course.” Written Statement of Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
July 26: Lieutenant Colonel Abdulsattar Younso declares his defection from the army, saying the army has deviated from its intended purpose and that he will be joining the Free Officers Movement. http://youtu.be/Aw6swjrze7Y