Sunday, July 31, 2011

Syrian Apocalypse NOW!

Several Benghazis are unfolding in Syria at this stage in Hama, Deir Ezzor, Idlib, Deraa and several Damascene suburbs. World leaders had ample warning, yet all seem to be caught unawares somehow, and the best they could do is feel “appalled.”

Sunday July 31, 2011

Current figures put the death toll at: 200 dead in Hama City, 40 in Deir Ezzor, 16 in Deraa City, 16 in Idlib. Figures are being continuously revised upward as the crackdown is ongoing, and many wounded end up dying. 


The current crackdown throughout Syria is not a simple act of desperation, but 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, and that takes advantage of following factors:

1)       the failure of the U.S. and France to obtain a UNSC resolution,
2)      the existing consensus in NATO not to interfere in Syria, with or without such a resolution,
3)      the inability of the U.S. and France to publicly call on Assad to leave,
4)      Turkish PM Erdogan’s post-election silence and his current preoccupation of Turkey with its own internal problems with the army, and
5)      attempting to avoid through maximized use of violence the scenario everyone expected to unfold in Ramadan and which will have included mass protests in Damascus and most likely Aleppo as well.

Moreover, the current development was not exactly unexpected, Syrian dissidents have warned repeatedly since the beginning of the Revolution that, unless the international community took a strong stand on the tragic developments in the country, the specter of multiple massacres unfolding simultaneously in different part of Syria could easily become a reality overnight. Yet, no one seems to have developed any contingency plans for dealing with the situation. Now we can all watch multiple foretold massacres unfold, feeling like President Obama, appalled.

This is the kind of reaction that is bound to leave many protesters feeling betrayed, and many will not believe the long-simmering rumor that a deal has been made to keep Assad in power.

Still, the impotence and incompetence of world leaders aside, protesters are unlikely to cower down in the corner or go back home. Death is better than humiliation. Ramadan will not be stopped. 

Hama City / July 31:

Snipers and shooting protesters in the head using explosive bullets continues to be one of Assad Death Squads favorite tactics (extremely gruesome),

Snipers posted on top of the Baath University in Hama,

The Massacre at Sibahee Neighborhood

Protesters pleading with a sniper not to fire at them, saying that they are his brothers and that they mean him no harm, but he does

Some defectors and their tanks at the entrance of the city:, A clarification: when soldiers defect they leave their tanks and weapons behind. The protests are still a nonviolent affair. Protester try to encourage more defections by chanting “the people and the army are one” (troops shooting at protesters in the distance) (Tanks entering Sauran Suburb)

Many of the dead, like this one, cannot be identified, because they come from nearby communities, and they are not carrying their ID cards

According to the cameraman, this is a scene from a battle between loyalists and defectors

Protesters come under fire in Kazo Neighborhood
The first few martyrs
Protesters pulling bodies of the fallen and wounded from the streets,,

Army tanks invade Al-Hraak in Deraa Province People take to the streets shouting “Death is Better than Humiliation” despite coming udner fire  

Army tanks invade Jabal Al-Zawiyeh region in Idlib Province,

Tanks pass through the city of Raqqah on their way to Deir Ezzor

Protesters come under fire in Idblib’s Ma’aarrat Al-Nouman

Layal, the baby martyr from Al-Hraak City in Deraa/Hauran Province:

A tank in the Damascene neighborhood of Moaddamiyeh