Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Slaughter: Hama Part II, NOW!

It’s 1982 all over again in Syria, and not only in Hama. Deir Ezzor and several Damascene neighborhoods are receiving a similar treatment. Where in the world is Obama, Sarkozy, Erdogan?  

Live Coverage of the Hama Situation

Saturday July 30, 2011

The invasion of Hama began earlier today with dozens of tanks pouring into the city firing indiscriminately into neighborhood. The operation has been ongoing for several hours now and there has been no lull in the crackdown. Snipers have taken up positions around the city, and hospitals are getting filled rapidly – a massacre is under way. But there are reports of army defections and internal clashes as well … 5 people were killed when tanks fired at a residential neighborhood in Deir Ezzor … 1 person was killed and 500 were arrested in a raid orchestrated by security forces in the Damascene neighborhood of Al-Qadam … Tanks have also raided the Homs neighborhoods of Bab Amr and Al-Bayadeh, among others, shelling their way through …

Syrian authorities launched a new satellite station, Nour Al-Sham, dedicated to religious programming in a gesture of appeasement aimed at certain segments within the country’s majority Sunni communities … Syrian authorities organize a loyalist cultural festival in Aleppo City with major participation from Lebanese politicians and artists … And at the moment of writing this, Security forces are carrying out a raid against the Damascene neighborhood of Al-Moaddamiyeh …

Dramatic and disturbing video footage from Friday's anti-government protests in Syria against President Bashar Assad, in which Syrian activists say at least 22 people were killed, has emerged on the Internet.
(Reuters) - When former Syrian diplomat Bassam Bitar was stationed in Paris three decades ago, a secret policeman from the embassy knocked at his apartment door to deliver a thinly veiled death threat if he did not stop criticizing the ruling Assad family.
Every fall, around 250 Druze leave the Golan Heights to spend the year studying in Syria; when the students returned this summer, they were full of stories about the revolution and what really happened on the roads to Damascus.

It’s is indeed as I said yesterday, Bashar Al-Assad 7 family seem to have concluded a new pact with his security and army chiefs, and now we can see its fruits. With Turkish PM, Erdogan, silent and with his own growing troubles with his own army, and with France and the U.S. unwilling to play any active role in pressuring the Assads over the last couple of weeks, the Assad and his generals seem to think this is their moment to strike to reassert their control over the country before the beginning of Ramadan. This is indeed a major setback for the protest movement.

In Deir Ezzor City, loyalist troops bombarded Al-Jourah Neighborhood lying on the highway connecting Deir Ezzor and Aleppo and where over 50 defectors from the 7th Regiment are said to be barricaded, killing 5 inhabitants. Meanwhile, reinforcement entered the city and surrounded the Governor’s mansion. Still, most neighborhoods in the City remain for the most under the control of the protesters who used minarets to warn loyalists against intruding any further in the city. For his part, Colonel Riyad Al-Asaad who announced his defections with his troops, said to be in the hundreds staying in an unspecified area near the Turkish border, vowed in a telephone call with AFP that he will said his troops to Deir Ezzor in case of a major military incursion. The situation throughout the City and the province remains pretty tense.

As for Hama, well earlier today:

Hours before the invasion, the city was still celebrating its freedom and security,,  

Damascus / Kisweh / July 30: thousands of protesters venture against the siege to mourn their comrade and assert their commitment to toppling the regime.
Damascus / Douma / July 30: a funeral for a fallen hero also attended by thousands, despite siege
Damascus / Al-Qalamoun / Al-Qarrah / July 30: “come one Bashar, leave”
Damascus / Midan / July 30

Homs / Bab Amr / July 30: tanks and shelling

Hama / Hilfaya / July 29: people write their own play starring Bashar and maher Al-Assad