Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Last Eid Under Assad!

People are signing in Homs and elsewhere in Syria, despite the daily killing and misery. But while some sing for freedom and dignity, others sing for oblivion, and the continued bliss of ignorance, even if feigned: the old song of serfdom.

Sunday November 6, 2011

22 people were killed in the continuing crackdown by pro-Assad militias against pro-democracy protesters, including 16 in Homs City, 3 in Idlib Province and 2 in Hama Province including a little girl. 4 explosions rocked the city of Lattakia at night – the causes and impact remain unknown.

On Monday morning, and according to eyewitnesses, the situation in Baba Amr Neighborhood took a dramatic when new defections reportedly took place in the units sent to storm the neighborhood leading to violent clashes between defectors and loyalists leaving dozens of dead on both sides. The fighting reportedly spilled into other neighborhoods in the city, including Bab Al-Sibaa, Bab Dreib, Karm Al-Zeitun, Jib Al-Jandali, Bayadah, Tawzei Ijbari, Ghoutah and Deir Baalbah.


The Sacrificial Lion Takes Cover

For the first time since he became President, Bashar Al-Assad refrained from performing Eid prayers in Damascus or Aleppo, and went instead to pray, not in Deraa, Deir Ezzor, Lattkia, Tartous, Hama, Homs, Idlib Or Hassakeh, but in the city of Raqqah where despite occasional demonstrations, loyalist security forces have been able to keep the situation under control. This is pretty telling indication of how secure Assad feels at this stage and of his inner circle’s reading of the security situation on the ground. Not even coastal towns, their alleged strongholds, feel safe for them anymore. That’s how popular they know they are.

Beyond sentimentalities, the speech was very much a dud, and its emotional tug won’t last more than days, because it came too late, and it avoided dealing with any of the current problems and challenges facing the country: there was no mention of what is going on in Homs City, and no mention of the Free Syrian Army and the role of defectors. Instead, we heard a foolish admonition to soldiers to refuse obeying orders to shoot at civilians, but hundreds have been killed because they did exactly that, and thousands have defected to avoid having to do that, but then, as defectors, they came under a de facto death sentence. When caught, they are immediately killed, without even the formalities of a court martial, no matter no hastily arrange. What choice do such defectors have but defend themselves and the communities that harbored them. Still, Ghalioun skirts over the issue as though it were an illusion, and as though there were no war taking place in Homs, and no daily defections and clashes between defectors and loyalists.

Despite the heart-felt assertions that rights will be respected, irrespective of national and religious background, and even the rights of the silent block, no practical vision was offered as to how this can be done.

Indeed, the speech was nothing more than a testament to the continued utter irrelevance and uselessness of traditional intellectuals and opposition figures as to what is currently taking place on the ground throughout the country. It is a pity. And a crying shame.

The War in Homs City

Baba Amr – A War Zone – A Disaster Area Bodies of the wounded are strewn in the streets The fighting spill to other neighborhoods: Insha’aat At night the pounding spread to other parts of the city: Jub Al-Jandali 

A woman who escaped from Baba Amr Neighborhood in Homs City speaks of food shortages, dead and wounded and the streets, while we hear the pounding in the background. She blames the league and wonders how can the “bastard” Assad go make the Eid prayers in Raqqah when the children of Homs are being killed

Meanwhile, tanks continue to pound the neighborhood , ,

A stroll through the quitter parts of the neighborhood of Baba Amr , , , , , Impact of the pounding on homes Houses that have been stormed by loyalist militias


Demonstrations in the larger province:

Talbisseh But protester quickly come under fire, and though they try to remain defiant at first, they are soon forced to disperse 

Tadmor (Palmyra) sign celebrates the coming birth of the military transitional council to be led by Riyad Al-Assad, leader of the Free Syrian Army , , , nighttime

The rural areas in Damascus continue to boil

In Damascene Neighborhood of Kafar Sousseh, security forces use tear gas to disperse protesters  In Qaboun Protesters come under fire , , , In Zabadani, protesters throw stones at a poster of Bashar Al-Assad covering a big garbage container, thus mimicking how worshippers cast stones at Satan during the pilgrimage in Makkah

In the town of Dmeir in Rural Damascus, the city comes under fire at night But, it’s the town of Kanaker in Rural Damascus that witnesses the most serious crackdown at this stage with a tank shooting its way through the narrow streets and pro-Assad militias making arrests and terrorizing the local population


TARTOUS: Baniyas/Baydah