Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homs: mass graves and detention camps!

As Bashar Al-Assad continues to redefine the meaning of the word impunity with very passing day, and every massacre, protesters are finally beginning to appeal for international intervention.

Wednesday August 24, 2011

Security forces killed 7 protesters today: 4 in Homs City in Al-Bayadeh Neighborhood, 2 in the nearby town of Talbisseh, and 1 who died under torture in Khan Shaikhoon Town in the Province of Idlib. 2 more people were killed when security forces carried out “hit and run” operations inside the town of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor which came as part of the Assads ongoing campaign to reestablished control over the restive eastern provinces.

Eyewitness reports that security forces conducted a large-scale detention campaign in Deraa City and neighboring community that touched more than 400 people, including 160 people in Da’el. A similar campaign took place in the Damascene suburb of Harasta as well, leading to dozens of detainees. But that did not stop local inhabitants from organizing a mass protest after Night Prayer.

UN human rights delegation paid a visit to the city of Lattakia today where they toured Al-Ramel camp and spoke with its residents. The delegation also visited the towns of Talbisseh and Al-Rastan in the Homs Province, on their way to Hama City. Eyewitnesses from many of these places say that delegates were besieged by security officers who prevented them from speaking to the actual protesters exposing them instead to regime loyalists who were bussed in from outside.

Eyewitnesses report that the well-known cartoonist Ali Firzat was kidnapped earlier today from the Omayad Square by a group of armed and masked men, he later turned up at Al-Razi Hospital, he is said to be in a serious condition, with contusions to the face and cigarette burns to his body.  

This week, ambiguous news reports emerged relating to the formation of a Syrian National Council in Istanbul, although the declared purpose of this body is scarcely different from that of the Antalya Conference: to coordinate with local protestors and activists and unite around the goal of toppling of the Assad regime. Unless and until a coherent roadmap is presented by this National Council articulating their vision of transitioning Syria from dictatorship to democracy, the body will not be viewed as credible or legitimate by Western governments.
As Syria descends into chaos, its stockpiles of chemical weaponry could turn into a proliferation nightmare.
The war by Bashar al-Assad on the people of Syria has created a civil impasse, and could lead to all-out conflict between Damascus’s Shia ally Iran and a modern, self-democratising Turkey.
The violence has been brutal and casualties continue to mount as the regime of Bashar al-Assad tries to put a stop to anti-government protests. But despite the dangers, demonstrators are taking to the streets across the country. And they vow to continue until they get a taste of freedom.
"The Arab League Peace Committee will hold an urgent meeting on Saturday on the latest events in Syria and the League's secretariat is making calls to know the number of countries and the names of ministers to attend," the official said, asking not to be named.
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters outside council chambers that instead of punishing Syria, the council should use dialogue and diplomacy to help end the violence.
"Omar emailed me back over the weekend and I spoke to him and yes, there has been a misunderstanding over this battery charging description for which I can only apologize. The glass used for charging was actually a mug and it didn't contain water. Water wasn't used to charge the phone at all. All they did was put a battery powered portable charger inside a mug which they carried to protests.
"They are mainly hit-and-run raids. The military is trying to avoid reprisals from the population, which is heavily armed. So they go in quickly to arrest people, sabotaging houses of wanted activists they cannot find," an activist said by phone.

The German weekly magazine Die Zeit reports that protester leaders in Homs are clamoring for NATO intervention and for the imposition of a no-fly zone due to the tragic conditions that the City is witnessing. With more than 34 mass graves and 25 schools used as detention camps, according to statement by unnamed high-ranking security officer, realities in the city are far cry from the festivities that local residents insist on holding every night as an act of defiance. Die Zeit reporter in Syria also says that he himself witnessed security forces opening fire on unarmed protesters, killing 4 and wounding dozens in the process.

But the Assads don’t care who is watching. The world can watch to its heart content as far as they are concerned: it can watch, condemn, sanction and isolate. So long as no one is actively intervening, the Assads believe they will be a OK. A few weeks ago, Assad’s Foreign Minister himself said something along these lines in a press conference. This was one of those rare occasions when the words of Assad officials can be taken at face value.  

In Idlib’s Ma’arrat Al-Nouman, protesters sing in English for the benefit of the UN delegation “Assad is lying. Assad is killer” , , this is how they welcome the delegation , ,

In Homs’ Talbisseh, protesters hold a protest despite the siege Army troops had hid their tanks on between houses when the UN delegation paid a visit to the town , , , , , , , ,  According to eyewitnesses, army troops had also opened fire randomly on shops and houses to intimidate people before the arrival of the delegation

Still, locals managed to put together a hasty funeral for a couple of fallen comrades , Soon afterwards, and while waiting for delegation, people came under fire , , A simple wound two were reportedly killed.

Homs / Aug 20: Victims of a fire started by army shelling of residential neighborhoods and

Assad security officers practicing their favorite hobby and being true to their raison d’êter: abusing unarmed protesters

An army officer sent on a delegation to study in Greece declares his defection and his joining of the Free Officers Movement

Hauran / Ghabaghib / Aug 19: a mother grieving by repeatedly thanking God for the martyrdom of her children

Lattakia / Skantouri: the body of the little girl, Oula Al-Jabalwi, was snatched from the grave by security officers The reason seems to be the rumors that spread that UN delegates plan to order exhumation of the body to verify the manner of Oula’s death.


Namar: a major funerary procession with more 10,000 participants was held for a local martyr with participation of people from the nearby communities of Jassem, Ankhel and Al-Harra , The martyr’s shows signs of torture

In Tafas, troops continue to patrol the streets preventing any demonstration Troops are trying to prevent repeat of the kind of demonstrations that took place in late April

Deraa City: a protest at dawn , Protesters have to be careful as to their choice of neighborhoods and time to protest, because tanks are everywhere , , ,


In Midan District a major funeral was held for the protester Sayyah Badran , But, during the nighttime mourning session security officers came crashing and firing, protesters responded by throwing stones and fireworks, but one of them, as this clip shows, was killed


In Palmyra/Tadmor, more than 10,000 protesters declare: “Father of the martyr, we are all children now” , , Al-Qseir Al-Houleh Gunfire heard in Al-Rastan

In Homs City, a crackdown in the morning with tanks opening fire in Mreijeh paves the way for more nightly protests in Baba Amr , Al-Wa’er Bab Houd , Stadium Street Bab Al-Sibaa Al-Qoussour But daytime did not belong to tanks only, there was a major demonstration in Al-Dablan

In the Hom’s Midan District, pro-Assad militias threw a Molotov bomb inside a tax and set it on fire, leaving the driver severely injured This is part of an ongoing intimidation campaign conducted by Assad loyalists in the city.


Protesters in Aleppo City carry out a raid to burn a big poster of Bashar Al-Assad near the governor’s Office, promise more such actions to come Manbij Al-Halak: the Turcomen community joins the protest movement , Andan


Jarjanaz observes a general strike , as children tell Bashar to leave and Khan Shaikhoon holds a funeral


Karnaz Kafar Zita Taybat Al-Imam Hama City / Stadium South , Asrouniyeh Neighborhood


Locals putting out fire started by pro-Assad militias in Al-Qouriyeh ,  Motorbikes set on fire by militias during their raid Still, locals organize a nighttime demonstration in defiance

In Deir Ezzor City, Osama Basha’an dies of wounds received when he was hit by a sniper Still, people come out at night in defiance ,

Tanks moving through the city of Mayadeen during a nightly raid