Monday, October 10, 2011

Listen to the People!

The official representative of the Syrian people is the Syrian people. They communicate with the world through daily protests, banners and by fighting back against all odds.  

Monday October 10, 2011

Sunday’s death toll now stands at 19 civilians and 17 loyalist troops, most of whom fell in Homs City after a night of random shelling by loyalists and push back by defectors --- Economic sources in Syria say regime already spent $4 billion of reserves to cover expenses of variety of governmental institutions.


The Argument over Intervention

When the time comes to talk about politics, Col. Al-Assaad reveals an inclination toward cooperating with the National Council which will become the opposition's political façade. Al- Assaad says: "We are hoping the National Council will coordinate with us and be the political façade for the process of bringing down the regime after which the process of building a national state that is definitely civilian will start." In reply to a question about the extent of coordination with the council, he said: "There are so far contacts with some figures. They are establishing their own bodies. They established the foreign affairs committees. When the time comes to establish the defense committee, then they must coordinate with us. We must be in this committee." He pointed out that the army command tried to contact all the Syrian opposition parties "and tried to bring all these parties together." Al-Assaad thanks God that agreement was reached to establish this command "after concessions were made by some."

This diplomatic outreach by Col. Al-Ass’aad to the SNC notwithstanding, the man is clearly and unequivocally asking for international military support, including providing material support to the Free Syrian Army, as well as imposing a no-fly zone, a sea blockade and a safe haven along the Turkish border. The titular leader of the SNC, however, Burhan Ghalioun, is rejecting any form of foreign military intervention, including by NATO, all while calling for the protection of civilians. These two discourses are irreconcilable, but it’s clear that it falls on the shoulders of the SNC leadership to modify their discourse and philosophy in order to provide the political cover that the Free Syrian Army needs, otherwise, it might just form its own.

It should be borne in mind here that Col. Al-Ass’aad is considered a national hero by the protesters and his FSA has more popular credibility and legitimacy than the SNC at this stage, while Mr. Ghalioun’s popular standing seems to decrease with very public utterance he makes. His recent attempt at rectifying his public image by coming out and for the first time describing Bashar Al-Assad as criminal is too cynical and late to reverse the tide. Mr. Ghalioun’s path to real legitimacy among the protesters must go through Antakya where Col. Al-Ass’aad resides. A direct meeting between the two men and their teams is needed and solid agreement needs to be hammered out between the SNC and SFA. The SNC needs to start the real issues, rather than continue to wrangle over names and roles.

Finally, and in order to be on the right side of the Revolution, Mr. Ghalioun and others in SNC better heed these two messages, the first sent today by the protesters in Baba Amr Neighborhood in Homs, where the large banner carried by protesters calls for “military strike against the regime”, while the second is sent in French by an inhabitant of Rastan to President Sarkozy 

News from the Domestic Front

First Lieutenant Muhammad Taysir of the Free Syrian Army announces an operation against loyalist militias in the town of Bdama in the Idlib Province, in which 10 loyalists were killed

Troop movements along the highway to Homs City And in Khaldiyeh and Qoussour neighborhoods Gunfire in Khaldiyeh/Qoussour , Deir Baalbah

Homs/Deir Baalbah an example of the shells used against the locals

Gunfire heard in the town of Qseir throughout the night

Videos from the impact of shelling on the town of Talbisseh in the Homs Province Homs Sniper action A tank in the streets Night shelling

Eyewitness: a professor of math at the University of Damascus started her class earlier on October 10 by writing the following statement on the blackboard: “stories of armed gangs are lies, army troops and the security forces are the ones killing protesters.” The professor then wrote her name and announced her resignation from the University, to rapturous applause. When a security officer tried to arrest her, students held him off and helped the professor escape. Her fate and whereabouts are unknown. This is just one example of many daily instances of rejection taking place all over the country.

Other major demonstrations took place in:

Hama: Taybat Al-Imam Morek (funeral)

Damascus: Zamalka Kanaker tanks laying siege to the town Moadamiyeh

Deir Ezzor: Deir Ezzor City

Deraa/Hauran: Basr Al-Harir Tseel Da’el (Banner: the Grand Mufti is hallucinating, he says he an army that can blow up Europe, but his army is killing the Syrian people) Hraak Ankhel (daytime) Kafar Shams