The killing throughout Syria continues, so does the befuddlement of world and Syrian opposition leaders as to what can and should be done.
Saturday 19, 2011
24 people were killed in search-and-destroy operations led by pro-Assad militias in Hama, Idlib and Homs provinces. The operations included pounding the towns of Kafar Takhareem in Idlib, leaving at least 7 residents dead, and Himsaya in Hama leaving 4 dead. For their part troops affiliated with the Free Syrian Army attacked a security convoy on the Salamiyah-Homs road, killing 4. Another FSA operation left 2 loyalists dead and a number of armored vehicles destroyed near the town of Qseir in Homs province.
On Friday, a day dedicated to calling on the international community to chase out Assad Ambassadors, 18 protesters were killed as more than 210 communities around the country fielded demonstrations calling for end of Assad rule.
On Thursday 20 people were killed, including 9 in Hama, 8 in Homs, 3 in Deir Ezzor and 4 in Idlib. Clashes were also reported between FSa troops and loyalists in the city of M’arrat Al-Nouman following an attack on a local security headquarters.
On Wednesday 22 people were killed including 11 in Homs and 8 in Idlib.
I am currently undertaking a new European tour, which will cause some interruptions in updating the blog, I apologize for that, but things will return to normal by early December.
As part of ongoing efforts by different opposition groups, councils and coalitions to find unity and relevance, a new initiative was launched in Cairo earlier today by a group of Syrian intellectuals, activists and dissidents. The National Initiative for Unifying the Syrian Opposition merits some attention on account of the diverse backgrounds of its authors and their approach which basically seeks unity around a specific set of clearly stated goals rather than bicker regarding quota allocations to different political groups.
The main goals include: Toppling the regime including ouster of Assad, demanding international protection for civilians including the creation of safe havens and the imposition of a no-fly zone, supporting the Free Syrian Army and all defectors, referring all human rights abuses to ICC and the freezing of regime assets.
The Group also asserts its commitment to the creation of a parliamentary system and to protection of the basic rights of all ethnic and religious communities in Syria.
Signatories include: Syria’s foremost political philosopher Dr. Sadeq Jalal Al-Azm (and his son, Dr. Amr Al-Azm, an anthropology professor at Shaunee University in Ohio), the well-known thinker and head of the Damascus Declaration Council abroad, Dr. Abdurrazzaq Eid, the well-known Kurdish leader Salah Badreddine and the well-known human rights activist and current president of the Antalya Group Executive Committee, Dr. Ammar Qurabi. Other signatories come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Kurdish, tribal, Christian, Alawite and Druze figures. Last but definitely not least, my wife, Khawla Yusuf, a member of the Antalya Group Executive Committee, was also included as signatory. As for me, I am willing to advise as usual.
Meanwhile, the killing continues.