Sunday, July 31, 2011

Red Ramadan Begins!

While world leaders are appalled, the protesters in Syrian are undaunted. Thousands take to the streets in Syria after the Night Prayers.

Sunday July 31, 2011

The official death toll of today’s carnage is provisionally put at 145, though the final figures are expected to be much higher. Unfortunately, different news organizations keep different figures, depending on what sources they consider more credible and when their reports were published.

The request came after human rights groups said 80 people had been killed in the Syrian city of Hama when government troops stormed in on Sunday to crush protests amid a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The army took action the day before the start of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and prayer. Tanks shelled Hama, Syria’s fourth-largest city, where at least 113 people were killed, the Qatari-based television network said, citing the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria.
(Reuters) - Syrians began the Muslim Ramadan fast in somber mood on Monday after troops stormed into Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre, in one of the bloodiest days of a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria uses tanks in Hama and other cities, and 70 people are reported killed. Most of the deaths are in Hama, where witnesses say Sunni mosque minarets are also targeted, just before the start of Ramadan.
In a statement, Washington-based opposition figure, Ammar Abdulhamid said the campaign constituted a “calculated move on part of the Assads that reflects an internal consensus within the upper ranks of key divisions in the army and all security chiefs.”

After weeks-long mass detention campaign, the Assads sent their troops, tanks and death squads into major protest communities in a calculated move to snuff out the spirit of the protest movement. Indeed, this move seem to risk the occurrence of major defections, but defections are a small price for the Assads, in fact, defections seem to be an integral part of their plan as they might help transform the revolution into a confessional civil war scenario, which is what the Assads have been itching for from the beginning.

The Arrest of Nawaf Al-Basheer, the chieftain of the Baggarah Tribe, with over 1.5 million in Syria alone, not to mention its extensions in Iraq and the Gulf, seem designed for this purpose as well, especially considering Nawaf’s role in preserving the peaceful character of the protests in his community. Now, reports from Deir Ezzor City, capital of the Baggarah Tribe, speak of young men arming themselves and swearing to defend the City, having evacuated most of the women and children, and moved them to neighboring communities. But so far, there has been little violence on their part. Most of the violence witnessed in the region seems to be restricted to clashes between pro-Assad troops and militias, and the band of defectors.

There will be more defections and more clashes throughout Ramadan. The troops commanded by the defector Colonel Riyad Al-Asaad, seem serious and could become the nucleus of a larger movement. But, barring few individual incidents here and there, the protest movement itself will remain peaceful.

Other parts of Syria that witnessed violent incursions by Assad loyalists today include Deir Ezzor City, Ma’arrat Al-Nouman and Jarjanaz in Idlib, Deraa City and Al-Hirak in Deraa/Hauran Province, and the Damascene suburbs of Mouaddamiyah and Kisweh.

More videos from Hama City: (army troops and militias establish barricades and roadblock)

Demonstrations and vigils in support of Hama
Night-time demonstrations took place after Taraweeh Prayers, held only during Ramadan. These demonstrations are meant to get bigger and larger from day to day until the end of Ramadan.

Damascus / Midan: 20,000 protesters take to the streets after Taraweeh Prayers. This is the largest demonstration in Midan since the beginning of the Revolution.
Damascus / Douma
Damascus / Kisweh: tanks in the streets, after days of protests and violent crackdown by Assad security forces ,
Damascus / al-Qadam: despite the crackdown, the deaths and the hundreds of arrests ,
Damascus / Barzeh
Damascus / Daraya
Damascus / Al-Qalamoun / Al-Qarrah ,

Lattakia / Al-Sleibeh

Homs / Stadium Street
Homs / al-Wa’er
Homs / Al-Khaldiyyeh
Homs / Bab Al-Sibaa
Homs / Al-Ghoutah
Homs / al-Warsheh Neighborhood
Homs / Al-Khaldiyyeh
Homs / Al-Dablan

Hama Province / Salamiyyeh

Deir Ezzor City: despite military crackdown, protesters take to the streets after Taraweeh
Deir Ezzor / Qouriyyeh

Deraa City: protesters come under fire after Taraweeh prayer for showing solidarity with Hama , , (one of the martyrs)
Deraa / al-Hraak: today’s martyrs included a child
Deraa / Kafar Shams

Idlib / Ma’arrat Al-Nouman: despite the crackdown earlier in the day
Idlib / Jarjanaz: protesters come under fire from security officers , ,
Idlib / Kafar Nabbol: a funeral for a martyr