Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Assads’ Terror Campaign!

The Assads are carrying out a well-thought campaign of violence and intimidation against the protesters, using the army, the security forces, loyalist Alawite militias and criminal gangs, and now, Jihadi networks.

Wednesday August 10, 2011

Despite claims to the contrary by stat-run media, the Assads did not pull out their tanks from Hama City, but simply moved to the outskirts for few hours before returning to assume key locations throughout the City. Meanwhile, tanks have stormed the towns of Sermeen and Taftanaz along the Turkish borders and carried out mass arrests, killing 1 protester in Sermeen and 3 in Taftanaz. In Homs 18 protesters were killed by security forces in Bab Amr Neighborhood. In Damascus, 3 protesters were killed in the suburb of Saqba. Three more protesters were killed in the town of Nawa in Hauran. The shelling of Deir Ezzor City continues, and a mass detention campaign is still under way in Albou Kamal. In short, the Ramadan Massacre continues… 

U.S. imposes new sanction on Syrian institutions, including the Commercial Bank, the Syrian-Lebanese Commercial Bank, and the mobile phone company Syriatel…  

Tanks storm two northwestern border towns, local residents say, as international community steps up pressure on Assad.
The moves targeting the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria, its Lebanon-based subsidiary and telecoms company Syriatel are the latest taken by Washington against Syria over its crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Having made few friends among his Arab neighbours, displeasing Turkey, a member of Nato and, more important, a country that is popular among ordinary Syrians, could be the straw that breaks the lion's back.
Kuwait’s turnaround may be the most significant since, as Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains, Assad and his cousin Rami Makhlouf have reached out to the Kuwaitis for financial assistance. “Makhlouf, who is now sanctioned by the U.S. and the EU, sold off his shares in his duty-free network to the Kuwaiti Kharafi Group,” says Badran. “However, now with Saudi Arabia recalling its ambassador, and Qatar already having done so, Kuwait had to follow suit in distancing itself from Assad.”
One of [President] Assad’s relatives is a known gay in Damascus. Most people tried to avoid him at the start of the protests, while some tried to become friends with him. Recently, his newfound friends have been threatening anti-regime gay people to expose them to authorities and deliver their names to the secret police.
A clear statement from Mr. Obama might shatter this belief. It might cause Syrian generals to review their support of the government, and might cause the commercial elites of Damascus and Aleppo to begin to distance themselves from Assad, according to Ammar Abdulhamid, founder and director of the Tharwa Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting democracy in the Middle East.

At this stage, Mr. Assad, even the Bubonic Plague is better than you.

The Assads and their propagandists have been speaking of armed infiltrators since Day One of the Revolution without providing any evidence, and using these claims to justify their bloody crackdown against protesters. In doing so they benefitted from the climate of sectarian prejudice that they helped foster over the years. Prejudice often trumps the need for evidence, blinds people to facts, makes them see things that don’t exist, or simply misinterpret reality, no matter how obvious it happens to be.

On the other hand, and over the last few years dozens of reports have emerged detailing the intimate relationships between Assad security forces and armed jihadist groups operating in both Iraq and Lebanon. In fact, the conclusion reached by most experts is that the Assads are not only the main sponsors of these groups, they have even infiltrated them at different levels to the point where these groups often carry out the biddings and plans of the Assads even if they don’t realize it. 

Bearing the above two observations in mind, tehn the main question regarding the recent reports that jihadist elements are now beginning to operate inside Syria, should be: whose interests and agendas are these groups really serving?

The protest movement has nothing to gain from the involvement of jihadist groups, and everything to lose. To the protest movement, the Assads and the Jihadists are two faces of the same coin, and not only in the philosophic sense. The direct linkages between the two sides that have been clearly established over the years by myriads of international experts and governments make the Assads and the Jihadists part of the same oppressive apparatus that has been gnawing at our social and economic fabric for decades. Our struggle, therefore, has been from the beginning of our Revolution directed against both: the Assads and the killers they breed in our midst, be they Sunni jihadists or Alawite shabbiha.

Those who throw themselves in the bosom of the Assads to wrong from Jihadists are fools, and those who think that Jihadists are actually partners of the protesters are blinding themselves both to the real nature of the protest movement, and the demonstrable connections between the Assads and the global Jihadists networks. The Jihadists are the Sunni Shabbiha and the Shabbiha are the Alawite Jihadists and they are all terrorists and all work for the Assads and carry out their biddings. This is not a case of the chicken coming to home to roost for the Assads, but of the case of the puppet-master who is skillfully manipulating his puppets. The Assads plan to drown the Revolution and scare the population with violence from the bottom and violence from the top, but the revolutionaries are good swimmers and they will persevere and they will hold on to their peaceful, inclusive and nonsectarian ways.

We will not be fooled, Mr. Assad, and at this stage, even the Bubonic Plague is preferable to you and your continued (mis)rule.

Homs Crackdown: Homs City: the wounded and the dead in the streets and no one can get to them This was one was “lucky,” his comrades managed to get his mangled body At night, protesters gathered at Al-Khaldiyeh , , Stadium Street Bab Tadmor But before, after and during the protests tanks were on the move and there were episodes of gunfire and shelling , , , The martyrs , The funerals, in Bab Al-Sibaa , in Houleh In the Ghouta District, and upon hearing of the death of 18 protesters in Bab Amr earlier, people take to the streets in defiance Elsewhere in the Province, in Al-Qseir  Elsewhere, in Talbisseh residents held a festival in support of besieged communities ,

Deir Ezzor: despite the ongoing shelling in the northwestern parts of Deir Ezzor City protesters still came to the streets in other parts after Night Prayers , Earlier in the day, loyalist troops intentionally shelled and destroyed the Minaret of Ibn Affan Mosque , , , ransacked the makeshift clinic at Al-Tobeh Mosque patrolled the streets terrorizing inhabitants and destroyed homes , , Security forces ransacked the home of Jassem Ilwan, a local protest leader Elsewhere in the province, protesters kept coming out in number, in Al-Qouriyeh and in Mayadin

Hama City: despite official claims that the tanks were removed from the City, this video from Aassi Square at the heart of the city proves that they were still there in the morning of August 10 , , , Of course, there were omnipresent on August 9 as well , Elsewhere in the province, protests took place in Kafar Zita in Karnaz

Damascus / Arbeen / Aug 5: this video shows an unarmed protester getting shot in the head by a sniper. He is clearly unarmed, so are all the people around him and he has clearly been targeted by a sniper. For all the talk about armed gangs and Jihadists and all that hogwash, this video captures the reality of what’s happening on the ground 99% of the times Today, the spirit of defiance was visible throughout Damascus, in places like Harasta Douma Kisweh Midan In Saqba, security forces enter in truck to carry out arrests the inhabitants of Saqba were observing a strike in Al-Tall, residents remove a large poster of Bashar from on top of the local Post Office

Idlib Crackdown: tanks entered a number of towns and villages near the Turkish borders, including Taftanaz despite the ongoing military crackdown in the province, protesters still came out in numbers calling for toppling the regime and chanting “death is better than humiliation.” Ma’arrat Al-Nouman Jabal Al-Zawiyeh , Kafar Nabbol Jarjanaz , Hass In Binnish, where 5 people, including a child, were killed yesterday, protesters still called out for toppling the regime , In Khirbet Al-Joz, snipers were busy commiserating on the rooftop of an official building

Lattakia: protesters gathered in Al-Ramel Neighborhood as usual , and in Al-Tabiyaat Earlier in the day, the kids were having fun, despite the mayhem around them, by pretending to be members in an armed gang  Pro-Assad militias pursuing and shooting at protesters (it’s not clear if this happened today or at an earlier occasion) The chants of protesters are not the only things filling the night sky in Lattakia heavy shelling and gunfire have their turns

In Hauran, protests took place in Deraa City , Kafar Shams Khirbet Ghazaleh Sanamein

Khobar / Saudi Arabia: Syrian expats take down a poster of Bashar Al-Assad from the offices of Syrian Airline in the City

Al-Hassakeh / Al-Qamishly