Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Protest and Crackdown Widen!

Assad proves he is a liar and a hypocrite for the umpteenth time, still some in the international community, Israeli intelligence chief included, are willing to give him another chance.  

Tuesday July 5, 2011

Hama 2011: 22 dead, 80 seriously wounded, hundreds of arrests. Residents establish roadblocks to protect their city … Syrian army units continue their sweep operations in Idlib province storming the town of Kafar Nabbol in the process and positioning snipers in key locations across the city …. The city of Rastan in the Homs Province has been the subject of a new incursion with eyewitnesses reporting sporadic shelling all through the night … Security forces opened fire on protesters in the Skantouri District in Lattakia … Assad security officers in the Kurdish communities of Kobani and Amoudeh bussed in a few hundred supporters and organized impromptu pro-Assad rallies for the benefit of state TV. Hundreds of new security officers were also stationed in these towns …

Some experts have hinted that the protesters are motivated by Sunni supremacism, since Syria is 74 percent Sunni and 14 percent Alawite, the Shia sect to which the Assad family belongs. In light of these assessments, it’s worth pausing to ask: Who are the Syrian protesters? And are they actually as dangerous as the Assad regime itself?
"They are calling for dialogue... and at the same time the Syrian army is at the gates of Hama," said Rime Allaf, associate fellow at Chatham House. "It's the most blatant illustration of just how insincere the regime is about dialogue."
"Assad may wait to see whether large-scale protests in Hama continue. He knows that using military aggression against peaceful demonstrations in a symbolic place like Hama would lose him support even from Russia and China," activist Mohammad Abdallah told Reuters from Washington.
The sniper said his unit was dispatched several times a week through the month of May to attack demonstrators. When the troops returned their weapons to commanders at the end of each day, he said it was important to show that much of the day's supply of ammunition had been used. Questioning orders was dangerous.
CNN cannot independently confirm the account that follows, but communications with Ahmed went on for many days, and he provided detail about events and places that supported what he told us. CNN was also able to contact several of his online associates independently, and they confirmed his background and the events he described below.
In a scathing new report; "Crackdown in Syria: Terror in Tell Kalakh," the organization documents torture and detentions as part of week-long security operations in the town, situated near the Lebanese border.
Military Intelligence chief says Syrian president promoting worthwhile reform packages, retaining loyalty of army; also notes Iranian role in 'Nakba', Naksa' Day border riots as well as Tehran's influence over Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
A realization appears to be growing in the West and the Middle East that Assad's regime is falling apart amid its crackdown on dissent. The State Department urges him to accept political dialogue.
(CNN) -- Syrian authorities may have committed crimes against humanity and the United Nations Security Council should refer Bashar al-Assad's regime to the International Criminal Court, said a report issued Wednesday by Amnesty International.

“Nothing is ever settled until it is settled right” – Rudyard Kipling


Hama City / The Villas Neighborhood / July 5: armed with tanks and guns, Assad security forces face off against stone-wielding inhabitants.
Protesters force a retreat of Assad security forces on the Road to Aleppo
In other neighborhoods, the “clash” moves into the narrow alleyways. 
If, like, you wonder what the hell are the snipers, such as the one seen here, taking aim at? Read this interview by CNN.
An example of a barricade
In one of the individual acts of vendetta championed by pro-Assad death squads, the Shabbiha, the local singer, Ibrahim Qashoush, who composed the song “Yalla, leave Bashar” (video below), was killed by having his throat slit. His dead body was found floating in the Orontes. Shabbiha gangs had previously targeted protesters who burnt Assad poster, and the Rastan kids who kicked around the head of the Hafiz Al-Assad status in Rastan, killing a few and chopping off their legs a lesson. The only lesson people are learning though is to act in even greater defiance of the Assad and to want more the end of their rule. (Qashoush’s song)
Just before sunset, Assad troops stream out of the City, not wanting to spend the night there. Protesters watch and shout Allahu Akbar. At the end of the shot, you can see, one of the troops pretending to shoot at the protesters. His sense of humor mimics that of his master. 
The martyr Baha Fayiz Al-Nahar
The martyr Imad Khallouf
The first funeral
A small vigil reminds Assad that he cannot turn back the clock to 1982, tells him to “leave and let us live in peace,” denounces sectarianism, and asserts commitment to toppling the regime.

Homs City: protesters come under fire, as several fall.

Damascus / Al-Hajar Al-Aswad / July 5: A father returns from Saudi Arabia to visit family. Upon his return, he learns of the passing of his son on the previous night. His son was a protester. The an falls into a deep sorrow, the people of his neighborhood come out in droves to his place and camp outside his house, shouting: we are all your children Abou Salem. Many of the inhabitants in this traditional neighborhood are descendants of the original refugees from the Occupied Golan Heights.
The local residents then take an oath to protect the revolution to last drop of blood. Taking such an oath has become customary by now, a ritual repeated in every protest community.
Damascus / Baghdad Street / July 5: a small all-women demonstration with participants chanting “Hey Yallah, we only kneel before God” and “the people want to topple the regime”
Damascus / Al-Tall / July 5: an all-women protest in this conservative suburb. “Freedom never fears death”

Idlib / Binnish / July 5: as army troops storm neighboring Kafar Nabbol, the residents stage a protest
Idlib / Khan Shaikhoun / July 5: not to be outdone, the residents of Khan Shaikhoun stage their own protest as well.
Idlib / Saraqib / July 5

Al-Qamishly / July 5: as security forces move into other Kurdish neighborhood in the north, this majority-Kurdish city in northeastern Syria stages a vigil in support of Hama.
Al-Hassakeh / Amoudeh / July 5: recent introduction of additional security forces into their midst fail to intimidate the inhabitants of this majority-Kurdish town, as they stage a large anti-Assad vigil.

Baniays / Al-Baydah Village / July 5: children chant “the people want to topple the regime”

Rayhanly Camp / Turkey / July 5: this child says army troops broke his arm as he was fetching a few things for his Mom from their house in the town of jisr Ashoughour, still very much a ghost town, despite Assad propaganda. He says they left him there on the ground and did not try to help. He says he hates the army.
Rayhanly Camp / Turkey / July 4: residents of Khirbet Al-Joz who fled to Turkey belie reports on Syrian TV that they have returned to their village and say that the people who were interviewed on TV were not inhabitant of the village.
Rayhanly Camp / Turkey / July 4: refugees organize a protest asking Assad to leave 

Meeting of Syrian-American Community in Los Angeles / Jun 26


Deir Ezzor City: protesters denounce Assad as the “Dog of Iran” and the “Nincompoop”
Albou Kamal

Deraa / Nahteh: protesters chant in support of Hama.
Deraa / Atman: “Leave, leave, Bashar”
Deraa / Al-Mseifrah: protesters mock Bashar and tell him to leave.
Deraa / Deraa City: “the people want to topple the regime”

Damascus / Qatana
Damascus / Kisweh
Damascus / Barzeh

Hama Province / Karnaz & Kafarinboudeh: suburbs of Hama province rally to show support for their regional capital.
“Death is better than humiliation”
Hama / Mork: people come out in the morning to show their support.

Homs / Al-Waer
Homs / Rastan: before the town was shelled again, residents held this brief vigil. Banner asks the “free people of the world and the UN to prevent a second Hama Massacre”

Lattakia: Banner “we will not allow for another massacre in our beloved Hama”
“Death is better than humiliation”