Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Syrian People Want A No-Assad Zone!

Defections increase as fast and wide as the continuing Assad-ordained crackdown on dissent- a development that thickens the plot and raises the stakes for the Syrian people and all regional and international players.    

Saturday October 29, 2011

43 people were killed on Friday during continuing crackdown by pro-Assad militias on peaceful protest. This Friday was dedicated to urging the international community to impose a no-fly zone on the Assad.

22 fell in Homs City (mostly in the neighborhoods of Baba Amr, Khaldiyeh and Deir Baalbah), and 2 in Qseir and Rastan towns in the larger Homs Province.

13 were killed in Hama City in addition to 3 in the town of Karnaz in the larger Hama Province. 3 were killed in the town of Tseel in the Deraa/Hauran Province, in addition to 1 in M’arrat Al-Nouman in Idlib Province, and 1 in Lattakia City in the Lattakia Province.

Also on Friday, 17 loyalists from the regular army were killed by defectors trying to repel a nighttime assault on Baba Amr and other inner city neighborhoods.

On Saturday, 10 loyalist militiamen were killed by an ambush organized by defectors near the town of Hbeit. 20 loyalists belonging to the regular army were also killed in Homs City and 53 were injured by defectors who were trying to repel an assault on inner city neighborhoods of Baba Amr, Bayadeh, Bab Dreib, Deir Baalbah, among others. The assault led to the destruction of five armored vehicles. 12 civilians had been killed by the earlier shelling by loyalists.

9 more protesters were killed in the continuing crackdown in to communities across the country, including 4 in Hama province, 2 in Damascus (in Zabadani and Kisweh suburbs), and 1 in Deraa/Hauran, Deir Ezzor and Idlib provinces. 

Meanwhile, the Assad issued a directive for mining all Syria’s borders, especially the Borders with Lebanon and Turkey, in an attempt at hindering the movement of defectors and preventing arms smuggling.


“Stop barking Bashar, the people want a no-fly zone”
Homs City, Baba Amr Neighborhood, Friday October 28, 2011

Saturday, October 29: In Homs, it’s war

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Assad shows his disdain for his own people, as well as his own cut-off from reality, that is, if he truly believes the bullshit he is trying to peddle. Who, but a highly delusion individual would, at a time when defections are increasing and the violence in the country has never been worse, make such an assertion: “Now, we are only fighting terrorists. That's why the fighting is becoming much less?"

Assad also warns that regime change would produce “another Afghanistan,” because, to him it seems, all his opponents are Salafists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, the whole revolution for him is nothing but an “uprising,” a “struggle between Islamism and pan-Arabism [secularism]”, one which has been ongoing for decades: "We've been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s and we are still fighting with them," he said.

Unfortunately, we cannot but admit that many Alawites, Christians, Druzes, Ismailis and secular Sunnis believe this hogwash, or convince themselves of it, because it justifies the status quo in which they are emotionally invested, even if they didn’t derive real direct material benefits from it.

This is what the battle of ideas part of the revolution is all about: in exposing the falsehoods of this kind of assertions. And this is where Syrian opposition groups have been and continue to be missing in action.  Treating the revolution is a mere logistic and technical challenge is undoing every success we have had so far. Syria is the beating heart of so many isms in the region, and the Assads have survived for so long due to their amazing agility at manipulating and subverting these isms to serve their designs. Our challenge is in part to expose their hypocrisy and lies and shed a spotlight on the realities and truths buried underneath. We also have the responsibility of charting a new vision for the future, now and not tomorrow, as so many opposition figures want us to do. For if we don’t produce our visions now, we may never get to the morrow we yearn for.

People have to know what they are fighting for, what they are transitioning into, in order to join the revolutionary movement and take full advantage of the revolutionary moment. People have to see in this revolution a true opportunity for improving their lot in life, as individuals and groups, otherwise they would have no reason to risk anything. The aura of promise that came with the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions has long dissipated, and the one presented by the success of the Libyan revolution will not last for long, we need to come up with our own.

The regime has presented its case, which, no matter how stupid it sounds to us, hits all the “right” emotional notes for its constituency. This is what its propaganda campaign is designed to do, a campaign that has proven highly effective, even among the educated, despite its intellectual shallowness. For the battle is not about intellectual prowess, but about understanding your audience and its basic fears, prejudices and concerns, then manipulating them. The task ahead of us is even more complex, seeing that the success of the revolution requires inclusion, while the regime’s power is premised on exclusion, as such, the challenge of understanding the fears, prejudices and concerns of both camps, and of hitting the right notes for both camps rests squarely on our shoulders.

Martyrs, Funerals & Protests (October 28)

Idlib Province/M’arrat Al-Nouman: a defector who fell in clashes with loyalists on the morning of Friday, October 28 his funeral Karnaz , For her part, Jisr Ashoughour offers three martyrs on October 28 Meanwhile, the town of Kafroumah comes under attack

Hama Province/Kafar Nabboudeh: another funeral In Hama City, worshippers come under fire even as they are still inside the Mosque of Ibn Auf The martyrs The same happens to protesters elsewhere in the city This was the demonstration before the crackdown A martyr Pro-Assad militias take the streets But protesters remain defiant and cry out “these are Assad’s dogs, these are the armed gangs”

Martyrs from Baba Amr Neighborhood in Homs City (Oct 28) , A martyr from Bab Al-Sibaa Neighborhood Another from Khaldiyeh Wounded in Baba Amr , , Wounded in Khaldiyeh A female martyr from Bayadah ,

In Karm Al-Zeitun Neighborhood, in Homs City, protesters carried signs making their demands clear “no-fly zone, safe zone, support to the Free Syrian Army” A sentiment echoed in Bab Houd Neighborhood, where a banner said “we want no-fly zone, protection of civilians and support to the FSA” A sentiment also echoed in this sign from Assaly Neighborhood in Damascus City In the suburb of Tal Rif’aat in Aleppo Province, protesters carried a banner saying “to the free people of the world, we are being killed, we need a no-fly zone”

In the Damascene suburb of Zamalka, protesters came under fire as they demands a no-fly zone on October 28 ,

In Ataman in Deraa/Hauran Province, protesters come under fire, but remain defiant and they took to the streets again at night In nearby Da’el, locals held a mass funeral for a child martyr

In the town of Qseir in Homs Province, protesters come under fire

In Douma suburb in Damascus, detainees are tortured in public by pro-Assad militias

A leaked video shows loyalists standing over the body of a dead protesters

Friday’s Demonstrations
Demonstrations took place in over 250 communities throughout the country urging the international community to impose a no-fly zone. I highlight only the biggest below.

HAMA PROVINCE: Taybat Al-Imam Hilfaya large banner hang from tower demands no-fly zone Ellatamneh Hama City (Sharqiyeh) Madeeq & Tuweineh

HOMS CITY: Deir Baalbah , Hamidiyeh Insha’aat a nighttime demonstration in defiance of snipers and shelling during the day, locals chanted saying “the people want a no-fly zone” In Qoussour, thousands sang “the Syrian Revolution is a Revolution for Dignity and Freedom”  A song picked up by the protesters in the nearby neighborhood of Khaldiyeh Wa’er Bab Houd Bayadah Jib Al-Jandali

HOMS PROVINCE: Palmyra (Tadmor) (nighttime) Rastan despite the siege Sukhnah In Talbisseh despite the siege, protesters come out to chant “”Mother, thee are Bashar’s last days” Houleh despite the siege

IDLIB PROVINCE: Binnish Idlib City , Jarjanaz M’arrat Hourmah Banner “we say it in Arabic, English, French, Russian and all the languages of the world: we want a no-fly zone” Taftanaz Saraqib Jabal Al-Zawiyeh , Kafar Sajnah Hbeit Dbeit M’arrat Al-Nouman


Saturday October 29, More War News

In Homs City…

Funeral for 2 activists in Khaldiyeh Neighborhood A funeral in nearby Bab Al-Sibaa

The neighborhood of Dablan observes a strike

A female martyr from the town of Talbisseh in the larger Homs Province , Her funeral a martyr from Qseir


Saraqib, Idlib Province – a funeral for a child martyr Nearby Khan Shaikhoon comes under fire And organizes a funeral for an activist

Harasta, Damascus – a funeral for an activist , In Zabadani, thousands take part in a nighttime burial of a local hero , In Kanaker, protesters come under fire

The town of Basr Al-Harir in the Deraa/Hauran Province buries  this defector

Saturday October 29, Major demonstrations


IDLIB: Ma’arrat Al-Nouman (Elteh) Sarmeen Idlib City