Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Anatomy of a Massacre!

The impunity of Assad’s security forces and loyalist militias have no limits, minutes after the departure of the UN human rights delegation, a massacre is perpetrated against the unarmed protesters, leaving 6 dead in Homs.  

Monday August 22, 2011

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, says he is disturbed by Assad’s refusal to fulfill his promises to cease military crackdown in Syria. Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador in Syria, Robert Ford, pays another visit to Hama City.

6 protesters were killed in Homs City shortly after a visit by UN Human Rights delegation. Afterwards, Syrian authorities ordered the delegation to leave the city.

On Sunday, 2 protesters were killed in the town of Misyaf when pro-Assad militias opened fire on protesters denouncing Bashar Al-Assad’s latest pronouncements. The militias proceeded to loot and destroy shops owned by Assad opponents. 2 other protesters were killed in Al-Bayaeh Nieghborhood in Homs, 1 in Al-Hraak Town in Deraa/Hauran, and 3 in the village of Bdama near Jisr Ashoughour in the Idlib Province.

Damascus is currently bankrolling its brutal crackdown by exporting the vast majority of its 150,000 barrels of oil per day to Europe, generating an estimated $7 to 8 million per day for Assad. If the United States were to be joined in its energy sanctions by the EU -- which appears to be the direction in which EU officials are moving -- it would prove a significant blow to the Syrian government.
On Friday, a group of leading Syrian dissidents, many living in the United States, and their American supporters urged Mr. Obama to recall his ambassador to intensify pressure on Mr. Assad to leave office… The signers of the letter included: Khairi Abaza of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Amma Abdulhamid, a pro-democracy Syrian advocate; Hussain Abdul-Hussain of the Kalimah Institute in Washington; Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institute; and Amr al-Azm of the Antalia Committee, a group of Syrian dissidents trying to form a provisional government.

Homs City: the UN delegation paid a visit to Homs today where protesters received them in the old Clock-Tower Square, which they have redubbed Freedom Square http://youtu.be/JCY5OFfMAKA The protesters were quite animated and chanted “the people wanted to topple the regime,” “the people want to execute the President” and “peaceful, peaceful, Christians and Muslims.”

Protesters had expected the delegates to leave their cars and talk to them, and were disappointed when the delegation drove off without doing so http://youtu.be/8ErrUsw9aIY While one can understand the delegates’ decision to stay in their cars, shortly after they left, security officers and pro-Assad militias moved in, leaving the usual trail of blood http://youtu.be/h7i2yt8rD5Q

In fact, one of protesters explained the situation in English to one of the delegates who rolled down his window enough to listen: “We are protected now because you are here, when you go, they will shoot” http://youtu.be/XCZvyg54XIw

The development is now referred to by local activists as The International Delegation Massacre.

Reports in Arab press quoted an activist based in London as saying that the massacres took place away from the areas visited by the delegation, but eyewitness reports backed by the videos below show that the shooting did indeed start at the Clock-Tower Square minutes after the departure of the delegation, and later spread to other neighborhoods and suburbs http://youtu.be/GDngP-xCpc4 This is a close take of the same scene http://youtu.be/u2beJRdMa6Y , http://youtu.be/YHimW344PhA

And this a child getting hit in the same square minutes later http://youtu.be/L4R4r6Lj3qc This was the same child after he was pulled from the ground http://youtu.be/K2LUu5v7InY Here is a video of a young man in a different alley connected to the Square, we can see the Clock-Tower, he gets hit in the head by a bullet, but he remains conscious, asks his friends to carry him and urges them to carry on until victory as they put him in a car http://youtu.be/ArYF1gsWHk8

Here is a tank storming Bab Al-Sibaa http://youtu.be/YY2p5ERngk4 , http://youtu.be/UZvgm0SnCRc The cameraman was said to have been hit but is still alive http://youtu.be/9VUBcf549D0 Still, protesters near the town center managed to remove Assad’s poster from the entrance of the Municipality Building.

In Baba Amr, protesters carrying olive branches come under fire from troops and tanks. One of them attempts to cross the streets and is hit, but he manages to roll his way to safety http://youtu.be/J2u2uvlvLBc That’s another angle showing the man rolling to safety http://youtu.be/MmeJHxMNeAg The aftermath of shelling http://youtu.be/9bL8k4kfvHo After the crackdown, the neighborhood observes a strike http://youtu.be/HvEnevEgUgo and life returns to “normal” http://youtu.be/vm8JFHC6l8Y 

In Bab Dreib, tanks were temporarily removed in anticipation of the visit by the delegation, but the fortifications are still visible http://youtu.be/TMEyHW3iclM

Elsewhere in the city, protesters hold a funeral for one of their own http://youtu.be/Zzw6gZ3vB0M This video shows clearly how a security officer fires at protesters to disperse them and prevent their return to the Clock-Tower Square. With this attitude, it’s no wonder that most injuries to protesters are head injuries even no snipers are involved http://youtu.be/DZ5k9vymIXE After getting dispersed, protesters decide to take their demonstration to the nearby Al-Hamidiyeh Street http://youtu.be/DmzGYMn_xfs , http://youtu.be/JrFO2YwlbMw

In Baba Amr, and despite the earlier crackdown, protesters took to the streets in the thousands carrying banners congratulating the Libyan people http://youtu.be/mlNnOa_yaQc and sending a message to the UN in English http://youtu.be/W_uZGZpyphc

But in the neighborhood of Al-Ghoutah, people spent the night serenaded by the sound of gunfire http://youtu.be/tJdmB-zU9p4

Hama City: on the day of a visit by U.S. Ambassador and later the UN delegation, security forces use a side street to hide their armored vehicles mounted with machineguns http://youtu.be/fyIf_Ibvi6k

Hama / Taybat Al-Imam: with candles saying “Congratulations Libya,” people in this Hama suburb were sure in a celebratory mood, for all the mayhem they had and still have to endure http://youtu.be/0LxOcFimrxE

In the city of Al-Raqqah, lawyers organized a sit-in protesting the violent crackdown taking place all over the country http://youtu.be/p7AUeuZBXSk

The new craze in the country, at least for Ramadan, is the early dawn protest: Homs/Al-Qoussour http://youtu.be/30XCEeka9v0 Damascus /Al-Qadam http://youtu.be/XJdT9F9Uzm0 Deraa City http://youtu.be/qLjpc9w70Ro

LATTAKIA: A group of wounded residents in Al-Hirsh Neighborhood in Lattakia City gets trapped by gunfire on August 19 http://youtu.be/oUFlNTxGNeE The same people from a different angle http://youtu.be/F0RyNS-XTtI , http://youtu.be/H0Ae9zsu0dk The shelling and shooting continue as the wounded try to maneuver to safety http://youtu.be/MalVP67zL9Y As one group maneuvers to safety, another tries to do the same http://youtu.be/MalVP67zL9Y Security officers using ambulances as traps http://youtu.be/3HBuQ_-_VKA

I don’t know how I missed this video, but apparently Bashar Al-Assad is as bad a drive as he is a president, and is not so safe after all! This was taken during an interview with Al-Arabiya on August 16. To my knowledge, no official explanation was provided as to what happened: was it a simple traffic accident, or did someone cease an opportunity that presented itself? Nobody knows http://youtu.be/ibcuvHHAB2I But, Assad “virtual” supporters claim that Al-Arabiya fabricated the video, by noting that two cameras were used and referring to differing lighting conditions inside and outside the car http://youtu.be/QQaLxJiimq4 My money is on Al-Arabiya.


Baba Amr: reporters working for the military videotaping the alleged withdrawal of tanks from Homs http://youtu.be/9mCFC_YVBIs Signs of shelling and destruction in Baba Amr http://youtu.be/-bjmioK1FNU

A Tank policing the neighborhood of Al-Khaldiyeh http://youtu.be/g5KgW_kfhcQ

Despite the crackdown earlier today, people came out in the thousands, and were in a celebratory mood as usual, be they in Homs City, or the larger province.

This is Alaa Abou al-Laban killed by pro-Assad militias in Al-Wa’er, http://youtu.be/v58iMsykNjY this is his son who was injured during the attack as well http://youtu.be/6TmTLFCd9hU

Elsewhere, in Al-Rastan, siege notwithstanding, the inhabitants stuck to their daily routine of festivities and protests http://youtu.be/VdP48dbv058 , http://youtu.be/Z79WOoWh3M8 Same in Talbisseh http://youtu.be/26kFuyL1tNY , http://youtu.be/g8J4SSsm2Hk , http://youtu.be/mdb4UtwFJWI Deir Baalbah: inhabitants carry signs congratulating the Libyan people http://youtu.be/mdbxEiYY7Nw , http://youtu.be/mig8gheecgI


Choppers over Moadamiyah Neighborhood http://youtu.be/6EOxeI2DJas


Tanks lay siege to Ma’arrat Al-Nouman http://youtu.be/XtGt8t2ESno But protests still take place elsewhere in the province with thousands of people taking place Idlib City http://youtu.be/Ihoxv6iW_9U , http://youtu.be/XhTQox9Yr4I , http://youtu.be/pX5K3siLP5w Binnish http://youtu.be/lCNiUaEnQqw , http://youtu.be/pI9mwN0k2s4 Jabal Al-Zawiyah http://youtu.be/S978qejKG1M , http://youtu.be/gQ-yp_Zmrtw Sarmeen http://youtu.be/849fNEVL_ME Taftanaz http://youtu.be/5IMxXi2C7ZU Khan Shaikhoon http://youtu.be/tChFYAAh0rE


Tanks and troops lay siege to Al-Mseifrah on August 21 http://youtu.be/QHSo6d-IHj8 , http://youtu.be/_xxlmkD_AXo , http://youtu.be/IDHz27CuAL4 Choppers overfly Al-Harrah http://youtu.be/O6tj8GKtwiE Al-Hraak: a funeral http://youtu.be/U2wxUqf6JVs Another funeral http://youtu.be/uESmL46BAoE



Al-Hassakeh / Al-Qamsihly: Kurdish protests stage a protest after the Night Prayer http://youtu.be/NIwKgQcrvhk , http://youtu.be/UUnfeQHSPZc
Deir Ezzor /Mayadin tanks and troops seen at the morning of Tuesday http://youtu.be/b1OdrjAGmWg
Aleppo / Andan: residents demands freedom of all detainees http://youtu.be/1p_ebVAMrBQ
Baniyas http://youtu.be/ys_jxLI2XUY After the demonstration and the visit by the UN delegation security forces retake control of the streets http://youtu.be/gs7jLI5LPh0