Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Delegation to Nowhere!

As the UN delegation continues its rounds of troubled spots, so does the violence perpetrated by Assad security officers, army troops and death squads, which make the job of the Delegation somewhat easier. Their report is already being written in blood, as they watch.

Tuesday August 23, 2011

A group of opposition members in Istanbul announces the formation of a National Council to coordinate the activities of the opposition groups. The Council is said to be meet again in two weeks wherein its final makeup will be announced and a Secretary General will be elected, leaving 2 weeks for more talks on this matter. The Antalya Group had already rejected this step and announced its withdrawal from talks.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva approves sending a new delegation to Syria to investigate violations by security forces against unarmed protesters. The decision received 33 votes including those of 4 Arab states: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, and was opposed by Russia, China and Cuba. Meanwhile, the UN delegation that is already in Syria paid a visit to Idlib City and nearby communities. For his part, the U.S. Ambassador to Syria, who was rumored yesterday to have paid a second visit to Hama City, actually made a surprise visit to the town of Jassem in Deraa/Hauran Province, where he talked with local activists about the ongoing crackdown.

Number of fatalities from yesterday’s massacre in Homs is said to have reached 10 as security forces conducted more incursions supported by tanks into the Al-Ghouta and other neighborhoods in the City.

Today, 5 people, including 3 women, were killed by Assad security forces in areas surrounding Hama City. Meanwhile, army troops laid siege to the towns of Al-Qouriyeh, Al-Asharah and Al-Tayaneh in Deir Ezzor Province in preparation for eventual incursions. The city of Al-Qouriyeh is reportedly already being shelled, with more than 55 tanks taking part in its siege. In Deir Ezzor City more than 300 residents were detained as part of the ongoing crackdown. In Kafar Nabbol, Sheikh Omar Al-Khateeb died of wounds received on Sunday when he was hit a sniper during a demonstration in the village of Al-Hbeit.

Rights council launches inquiry into crackdown amid Western efforts to slap sanctions against al-Assad and 22 others.
The draft would impose an international embargo on Syrian imports and exports of all weapons and ban training, technical assistance and financing for military purposes.

A video leaked by pro-Assad militias shows army troops shooting randomly into homes from their tanks while a colleague urges them on: “kill them all, they want freedom, give them freedom, we want only Bashar”  

Children in Idlib City play an interesting new game called Protest and Martyrdom , Earlier in the day, the people took to the streets to welcome the UN delegation On the Khan Shaikhoon Bridge, banners were hung urging UN to “help us get our freedom” and help “Bashar fall down [sic]”

Announcing the formation of a national council on Aljazeerah In the neighborhood of Khaldiyeh, protesters endorsed in their chant the National Council saying “the people want the National Council” A banner makes the same point in the Damascene suburb of Al-Kisweh Since no names are known yet, the people in these two neighborhoods seem to be endorsing the concept of a national council. It should interesting to watch how thing will unfold kin the coming weeks, considering that Antalya Group has decided to pull of talks regarding the formation of said council, and that many if not most protest leaders inside the country, including the recently formed Syrian Revolution General Commission, while encouraging greater unity and cohesion among opposition groups, have been wary of the idea of seeing expats or traditional opposition figures inside Syria forming a representative body at this stage, especially considering that their role is bound to be marginal, regardless of assurances made.  


Kafar Shams , In Da’el, the banner says “despite the arrest of 300 people, the demonstrations continue” , Al-Taybeh Basr Al-Harir  Sanamein  Al-Jizah Izraa Khirbet Ghazaleh Nahteh In Ankhel A funeral for a local activist, Yahya Al-Ghouthani This is Yaha In Jassem A small demonstration incurs immediate patrols from the army In Nawa, residents put a small demonstration as well as a sign of continued defiance In Tafas, heavy army presence in the streets prevent people from demonstration , Deraa City Tseel In Ghabaghib, inhabitants observe a general strike

In Al-Hraak, the city streets are empty and all is quiet before the army went in Choppers overfly the city Then the tanks come in and the troops follow To soften the blow some army troops play nice with local children


Lattakia: the city streets get cleaned before the arrival of the UN delegation , At night, small protests still take place Army checkpoints all over the Al-Ramel Neighborhood despite pullout claims by authorities , Elsewhere, in Jableh protesters held another small demonstration despite being surrounded by loyalist communities


A small nighttime protest in Baniyas A silent all-women protest


Al-Qouriyeh: despite the shelling that took place earlier in the day, protesters take to the streets at night Earlier in the day, tanks and troops shot and shelled their way into town A martyr One of the homes that were raided Tanks had laid a siege to the city on the previous night


Taybat Al-Imam: “Oh Mother, Bashar is livjng his last days”  Sahel Al-Ghab / Al-Hawash  Sahel Al-Ghab / Al-Madeeq Hilfaya Busses full of security officers heading towards Kafar Nabboudeh Shortly thereafter, security officers conduct several operations focused on Sahel Al-Ghar region in Hama leading to the death of 5 inhabitants including 3 women.


Jabal Al-Zawieyh / Balyoun , Idlib City Ma’arrat Al-Nouman: protesters ignored the tanks in their midst , and took to the streets at night , Binnish Hzano  Gilli In Kafar Nabbol, people announced the death of Sheikh Omar Al-Khateeb of injuries received on Friday


Tanks blend in with the traffic in Homs City A funeral takes place in Bab Al-Sibaa , It was for a father and son affair the funeral was followed by a protest But tanks remained stationed around the neighborhood , , , , , In Insha’aat Neighborhood, protesters accused the Syrian army of treason Bab Houd Al-Qoussour  

Talbisseh Al-Rastan , the protesters are fired on leaving several wounded, including this 75-year old Lattakia woman who was taking refuge in the town Tadmor/Palmyra: thousands of inhabitants hold a nighttime funeral for one of their own