Friday, July 29, 2011

The Unraveling!

As defections turn into full-fledged mutinies in Deir Ezzor, Homs and elsewhere, Assad security forces go about business as usual in Damascus and Aleppo, arresting, killing and making people disappear. Still the protesters are unfazed.  

Thursday July 28, 2011

5,000 troops belonging to the 7th Armored Regiment in Deir Ezzor defect, clash with security officers and take control of the local military airport amidst reports claiming that the new governor and his security chief have been killed … 40 armored vehicles belonging to pro-Assad troops lay siege to the Homs Military Academy where a defecting Brigadier General and his officers and troops have barricaded themselves … 200 armored cars lay siege to the Damascene suburb of Al-Qadam … The International Federation for Human Rights accuses Assad of Crimes Against Humanity … The international human rights NGO, Avaaz, estimates that official crackdown has left over 3,000 people missing or disappeared, 1,614 dead and 26,000 detained …

Opposition groups have given Friday rallies the label “Your silence is killing us” in attempts to mobilize prominent community leaders, intellectuals, the business elite, religious leaders and other Arab countries to join the opposition cause.
Re solution cites Assad payments to protesters to storm Israel’s border; "Only policy of sanction, condemnation" can halt human rights violation.

A crackdown on protesters in Deir Ezzor City initiated by the newly appointed Governor led to the death of one protester, and the arrest of dozens. But rather than feel intimidated, thousands of local residents marched to the governor’s mansion demanding his departure. A scuffle with security officers in the area led to several more fatalities among the protesters at which point, army troops belonging to the 7th armored regimen interfered to protect the unarmed protesters, clashing with the security forces and pro-Assad militias.

Beyond this, it’s proven difficult to get any clarity on the exact goings-on in Deir Ezzor, but we have reports claiming that the new Governor and his security chief, the infamous Jamea Al-Jamea, one of the suspects in the assassination of Lebanese PM Rafic Al-Hariri, have been killed, that over 5,000 troops belonging to the 7th armored regiments have taken over the local military airport, that pro-Assad militias are roaming some streets in pickup trucks mounted with guns occasionally clashing with army troops, and that the City has thus become a virtual war zone.

Coupled with reports of defection in Homs, Idlib and Deraa, the development comes as quite the prelude to the month of Ramadan. Could this mark the final unraveling of the Assad regime?

Deir Ezzor / July 28: this is the small demonstration that ended up unleashing today’s dramatic developments in Deir Ezzor. This is a clip of one of the martyrs This clip shows pro-Assad militias roaming the streets in their pickups firing at people Meanwhile, in the city of Abou Kamal, people hold a vigil in support of their brethren in Deir Ezzor City

Damascus / Kanaker / July 28: the destruction left behind by the assault of security forces and army troops, which led to more than 11 dead Some of the injured can be seen here, here, and here This is one of funerals that took place: The military operation against Kanaker began on the morning of the 27th Kanaker has been witnessing major protests against Assad for weeks now And the protests continue after the security forces leave showing the futility of violence, killing and detentions

Damascus / July 28: security forces carrying out arrests in Mouaddamiyyah, and in Jobar  

Germany / July 28: after winning the Bavarian International Swimming championship, the Syrian winner lifts up a sign saying “Stop the Bloodbath in Syria”

Deraa City / July 28: the city observes a general strike

Hama City / July 28: the tradition of large daily protests in AAssi Square continues.

Homs / Deir Baalbah / July 27: tanks are stationed everywhere in this central town

Aleppo / Al-Bab / July 28: while security forces were busy carrying out arrests in the increasingly restless town of Atareb, residents of Al-Bab organized an anti-regime vigil