Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Enter the Defectors!

As pro-Assad militias keep committing more massacres and opposition forces keep their wrangling, army defectors are getting more organized and have launched what could be the armed phase of the revolution. In some protest communities, defecting officers seem to be emerging as de facto leaders in the political sense as well.

Monday September 5, 2011

Reports of new defections from the army in Jisr Ashoughour in Idlib Province as pro-Assad militias raid several villages on the border with Turkey killing 2 civilians as they tried to cross the Turkish border and wounding dozens ...  13 protesters were killed in crackdown in Homs and Hama provinces, 10 in Homs City and 2 in the town of Tal Kalakh on the border with Lebanon … Tanks reenter Hama City amidst heavy shelling … Fate of Hama Attorney General still unclear with some reports claiming he reached Turkey, others that he left to Cyprus, and still others claiming he is hiding in Damascus itself waiting to seek refuge in a western Embassy.

Links
Whereas the street movement has become tactically adept, better organised and cohesive, political opposition groups inside and outside Syria are still fragmented. They are divided not just between exiles and those within. Individuals have been jockeying for position. “There have been a dozen conferences and statements in several cities but nothing to show for it,” says a protester. “Meanwhile we continue to go out and take the bullets.”
Activists said troops killed nine people and launched assaults on the central cities of Homs and Hama. Among the dead was a man shot dead as he tried to cross the border into Turkey, they said.

The rise of the defectors has been a slow process. For a variety of logistical reason, it took them long to get their act together, but over the last few weeks, they seem to have gotten their act together. Even though, they seem to have a long way to go before they can mount major operations inside the country, because of limited funds and support from external sources, the sympathy they have found in certain communities, especially in parts of Homs, Hama, Idlib and Deir Ezzor provinces, has allowed them time to organize and strategize. In cooperation with local figures, they seem to be now meshing with the local leadership responsible for the Revolution.  No, we are not talking here about the Local Coordination Committees, the Syrian Revolution Coordinators’ Union or the Syrian Revolution General Commission, or even the just established Revolutionary High Council.

The local leadership referred to here, and which, in some communities where the violent crackdown was too intensive is beginning to build a symbiotic relation with army defectors, is comprised of the loose networks that actually gave birth to the LCCS, the Union, the Commission and the High Council, without wholeheartedly embracing them. Why? Because leadership of these groups is heavily influenced by input from traditional opposition figures and activists whose internecine bickering have compromised the ability of the networks to become more organized and inclusive, a development that affected their credibility on the ground. The street by now knows that the opposition is unreliable, and that major figures in the army and security will not defect, and that the best that can be achieved at this stage is to maintain the daily momentum of the protest movement until a miracle happen, even if that miracle is, for some, foreign military intervention.

Meanwhile, Assad’s security forces have managed to score a few “victories” over the last few weeks by killing and detaining a few of the most active protest leaders. But the emergence of the defectors might soon compensate for that, even as it ushers a new phase in the revolution. The protesters are unlikely to carry arms themselves, but they will provide a sympathetic and nourishing environment for the defectors to operate in: mini safe-havens of sorts. With this ongoing development, the Syrian Revolution is entering a new phase, one that requires the international community to play closer attention to the situation lest it devolves beyond control.

FEATURED VIDEOS

The Free Syrian Army assumes responsibility for several attacks on pro-Assad militias and security forces in Idlib, Deir Ezzor and Homs, including the attack in Mhardeh City reported by Syrian TV http://youtu.be/a-w8-LSIiNM The FSA seems to have become the umbrella organization for all defectors, including members as the Free officers Movement, as evident by this video where the defector announces he is joining the Free Syrian Army, while the writing on the banner behind him clearly says the Free Officers Movement http://youtu.be/DBeYPpJPgUo These are some of today’s defectors http://youtu.be/8BSKPmnmVkU They are the ones to have carried out the operation in Mhardeh targeting a bus of pro-Assad militias.

Here we see the body of Abdussalam Hassoun who was shot by sniper while trying to cross the Turkish border, the soldiers around him are Turkish soldiers in Ain Al-Baydah along the borders http://youtu.be/9geWEnwocw4 Hassoun was effectively shot on Turkish soil http://youtu.be/EZD955HbEpQ But the violent crackdown continues to drive many locals across the borders http://youtu.be/goQokpFk81s Omar Shaheen from the village of Tahtaya is another victim of the border operations mounted by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/W2DLns0md3Y That’s his funeral http://youtu.be/W2DLns0md3Y

A new leaked clip showing pro-Assad militias abusing a detainee http://youtu.be/a-w8-LSIiNM Snipers Wanna Have Fun http://youtu.be/2qIgiEnpwdE Onward Assadist Soldiers http://youtu.be/NuuelrBs5cg Go ye forth and pillage the town of Talbisseh where even children chant and dance in defiance of your Lord http://youtu.be/x_txpt6lNnY

HOMS

Homs City
Tanks enter the Khaldiyeh, Warsheh and Bab Houd neighborhoods to support a pro-Assad militia raid http://youtu.be/uhnu2CpFhGQ , http://youtu.be/9QYUAwEtuic , http://youtu.be/qdgGINeGoEY , http://youtu.be/1cEB5Fs0xuo There heavy machinegun fire (Warsheh) http://youtu.be/NXH215boORk , http://youtu.be/i_eQ_x9pr38 Even in Bab Dreib http://youtu.be/9xV9JfnvrAk A wounded local http://youtu.be/0YrlDexEXzA a martyr http://youtu.be/IJL63iRv1Vk , http://youtu.be/aOLBYrB3n0Y  Another Martyr (Bab Houd) http://youtu.be/fWcGMDFalKw People clean after the raid by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/q8_hSm0DPSk

As pro-Assad militias carried out their raid into the neighborhood of Khaldiyeh, demonstrations in support of the neighborhood took place in Insha’aat http://youtu.be/KGiaoAZnXRE Ghoutah http://youtu.be/SIDgBRynxlw Qoussour http://youtu.be/kUgUiUXJrGk , http://youtu.be/QuSUi8NuBHI And in Baba Amr and for all the violence and death, people celebrated in defiance http://youtu.be/MnJG0PzFqsc , http://youtu.be/q_f9gTMu4-Y , http://youtu.be/mXqYpiNI8l0 same in Bab Houd http://youtu.be/QiFN_0Lde_Q in Stadium Street http://youtu.be/szAKDGkfIzk and in Khaldiyeh http://youtu.be/B2WXMLRIsPU

A martyr from Tal Kalakh killed in today’s crackdown http://youtu.be/uwvXArQwZZY Tanks invade Deir Baalbah http://youtu.be/1H7Y0zDagVA , http://youtu.be/bcwraCfUOOc But people still come out at night demanding “the execution of the president” http://youtu.be/9i5WBzkpjcg

Thousands demonstrate in Rastan demanding international protection http://youtu.be/Qi3oR8Ehkww Talbisseh a funeral http://youtu.be/eage3-5v5as for Ibrahim Armali http://youtu.be/lP71TVzJcIk Relatives say that Armali’s body was taken from the local hospital after he was shot on Friday and allege that his organs were removed http://youtu.be/FhfVG8KzmOk In a typical fashion mourner come under fire http://youtu.be/ZV4ctdhPZIU Qaryatein http://youtu.be/LgeiS5v2DGg Houleh http://youtu.be/Bl1V1zbQjJc But protesters soon came under fire http://youtu.be/ZUZvx6kH0Qo

HAURAN/DERAA

In Ankhel, protesters defied tanks shouting “the people want to topple the regime” http://youtu.be/eM1_4G0gdL0 As usual the thugs of the army were willing to shoot http://youtu.be/rSCPd-PQqRY This is not the first time this happened in Ankhel, this newly uploaded clip shows that back on April 1, and right after committing a massacre of civilians, protesters face army troops and tell them using a loud speaker that killing their own people is an act of treason, and against military honor http://youtu.be/1brueOXa_v4 The main activist in the video, Muhammad Abdellatif Ilweh, was later killed, and today, protesters paid a visit to his hour http://youtu.be/38IWLoLs90Q before touring the town  http://youtu.be/04DnS5LxhSY and coming face to face with the tanks shown in the first link. 

Daytime
A major demonstration took place in Karak http://youtu.be/nGxI3OqzEWE Hraak http://youtu.be/y55q5GWWfn0 Mseifrah an all women demonstration http://youtu.be/cG4Zy_CLhpw Nahteh http://youtu.be/T34KDwX3KcM

Nighttime

IDLIB

Syrian refugees in Rayhanly Camp in Turkey demand international protection, especially after last night’s shelling http://youtu.be/HrYTRPhWk9A , http://youtu.be/5yRPhPpjPy0 , http://youtu.be/QSFBXj_IRQE , http://youtu.be/d_ph6Kuxlw8 , http://youtu.be/AD6Zab-pXig

Thousands of protesters took to the street in Taftanaz http://youtu.be/vyQUxOHYQsM Idlib City http://youtu.be/4bG4WimoQjk , http://youtu.be/uE9u5Z1hlAQ Jabal Al-Zawiyeh http://youtu.be/huEtGvj0euc  , http://youtu.be/oEsQB-dVv_g , http://youtu.be/wmzy_lIsWyA Smaller demonstrations took place in Sarmeen http://youtu.be/EsWFI3ocFYI Kafar Nabbel http://youtu.be/0VX1A7efVo4 Maar Tamsareen http://youtu.be/6m8d2gZ-mlY Jbala a martyr who died under torture http://youtu.be/ckbCntfxNhU

HAMA

Even as tanks reentered Hama City, neighboring towns and villages continue to carry the banner of resistance. Taybat Al-Imam http://youtu.be/NY67wgzkQ_s , http://youtu.be/A09olLkhxgs , http://youtu.be/3s0FJ7Re_Sg Ellatamneh http://youtu.be/vZA0ugTD0mU Hilfaya http://youtu.be/EOjC4ncd5kk , http://youtu.be/RFU_67DaHzE , http://youtu.be/sRCFAu1WjnQ Karnaz observes a general strike in mourning over yesterday’s killings http://youtu.be/xLF0WTOP4ek

ALEPPO