Saturday, May 28, 2011

Generals in the Mist!

As protesters dedicated this Friday to express their love for the army, Assad’s security forces killed 8

Friday 27, 2011

8 protesters were killed and 15 injured by security forces today, as protesters took to the streets in another Friday of Defiance and army officers dithered on the sidelines. Four of the dead fell in Damascus, in the suburbs of Qatana and Zabadani, three in Deraa (Da’el) and one in the coastal city of Jableh.

Kurds continue take part en masse in the weekly protests, especially in the cities of Qamishly, Dirbassiyeh Ras Al-Ayn and Amudeh, with more and more protesters adopting the slogan of “the people want to topple the regime” in solidarity with their Arab countrymen who were first to raise it.

Homs, Hama, Idlib, Deir Ezzor, Alboukamal, all these cities and their environs witnesses major protests today (10,000s each). Meanwhile, and as communication lines with Deraa City and the Damascene suburbs of Douma and Darayyah remain down, getting exact reports and casualty figures was not possible at this stage.

Protesters once again chanted anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah slogans and, in Deraa, they even burnt posters of Hassan Nasrallah.

The protest in Rastan (Homs Province) was televised live on Al-Jazeerah using mobile phones.

Aleppo City witnessed a relatively large protest today in the Neighborhood of Saladin, with the nearby village of Dar Azzah witnessing another.

Security forces in the Midan District in Damascus today used a slightly different tactic to suppress the protest today by allowing protesters to stream freely out of the Hassan Mosque, then attacking them from hiding places in the narrow alleyways surrounding the Mosque. Dozens were arrested. Still, protesters got their point across: the call of “the people want to topple the regime” reverberated all over one of the most traditional neighborhoods in Damascus.

Despite military siege, and heavy security presence in the streets, the coastal cities of Lattakia, Jebleh, and Banyas fielded major demonstration that were met with live bullets, but early reports speak of “only” one confirmed fatality so far in Jebleh.

The Damascene suburb of Qarrah witnesses a major protest today demanding toppling of regime, signaling the entrance of a new Damascene community into the revolutionary fray.

Several high ranking security officers including Lieutenant General Abdulfattah Dandash, were detained due to their refusal to open fire on protesters.

Many protesters changes their Facebook photo to show a poster of the 13-year old child, Hamzeh Al-Khatteb, who, on May 25, was shot and tortured to death by security officers who also saw it fit to cut off his penis: http://youtu.be/6CKddw--Zgs (graphic video)

Links
Ammar Abdulhamid, noted Syrian human rights activist, author, dissident and founder of The Thawra Foundation, a Washington D.C. based non-profit organization promoting democracy in Syria and throughout the Arab world, has been among the founders of what’s being termed “Arab Spring” in the western press…
Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian dissident and democracy activist who heads the Washington-based Tharwa Foundation, agreed the army's command fears a revolution because they do not know how the majority Sunni will react to the Alawites.

Tidbits & Highlights

This was billed as the Friday of the Protectors of the Homeland, in other words, the army. The fact that, for the most part, the army chose to remain above the fray today, might be taken as an indication of the army’s ability to listen, and respond somewhat positively to the gestures of goodwill sent by the protesters. Could this be the beginning of something? Are the Assads losing control of the army? Or are we reading too much into this occurrence which may not too unique: the army did respond in a similar manner on some occasions before, only to join in the violent crackdown in others. The dithering of the army may not reflect calculations regarding loyalties at this stage inasmuch as they do crackdown tactics and strategies.

One of the noteworthy features of this Friday’s protests is the fact that many of them began after Dawn Prayer, when people stood on their balconies and the streets and kept repeating Allahu Akbar until the sun rose completely above the horizon.

Arab media ran many stories today about a “roadmap” on Syria agreed between US and Turkey, with France effectively taking part by supporting Obama’s line of “lead transition, or get out of the way.” Could this be the beginning of something serious here? And considering that these leaders, according to what many of their advisors are willing to say quietly in conferences, though not secretly, don’t believe that Assad is capable of or willing to reform, could this signal the formation of the “get out of the way” coalition? If so, what sort of strategies will this coalition employ, and will other international and regional members be invited? It may not take long before we find out?

Deraa / Nahiteh: speaker repeat names of government propagandists, and bashar Al-Assad himself, as protesters say “Liar”
Deraa / Khirbet Ghazaleh: “the people want to topple the regime”
Deraa / Ibtaa: protesters chant in support of other besieged communities throughout Syria
Deraa / Al-Hraak: 10,000s protesters chant: “No to Iran, No to Hezbollah… we take death but never humiliation”
Deraa / Kafar Shams: 10,000s sing in support of besieged communities
Deraa / Al-Jeezah: protesters chant in support of besieged communities
Homs: a security officer in civvies is identified and beaten by protester in one of very few acts of violence perpetrated by protesters. While the incident is regrettable, no armed gangs were involved, and the officer survived with minor bruises to show for his travails.
Homs / Bab Al-Sibaa: “the people want to topple the regime” “leave, leave”
Homs / Al-Qusour:
Homs / Al-Qarabeis: “We don’t fear death” “the people want to topple the regime”
Homs / Khaldiyyeh: “Bashar is the biggest thief” “the people want to topple the regime”
Homs / Deir Baalbah
Students protests: no studying, no teaching, until the president has fallen”
Homs / Rastan: 10,000 protesters chant: “the people want to topple the regime” “leave, leave”
Homs / Boustan Al-Diwan: “the people want to topple the regime” “Long Live Syria, Down with Bashar Al-Assad”
Homs: dying protester
Qamishly: Kurdish protesters chant: “the people want to topple the regime”
Kobani: “the Syrian people are one”
Amudeh: Kurdish protest
Damascus / Midan: “The people want to topple the regime”
Damascus / Barzeh: “Solider, my countrymen, you protect the security of our land”
Damascus / Qaboun: “we don’t love you, leave us and take your Party with you” “fly away Bashar, Syria needs cleansing”
“We take death but never humiliation” “the people want to topple the regime” Banners celebrate national unity
Into the evening: “Sweet dreams Bashar”
Damascus / Ruknaddine: protesters burn a poster of Assad
Damascus / Zamalkah: Banners “the people want to topple the regime”
Damascus / Darayyah: banner celebrates national unity of Muslims, Christians, Druzes and Alawites. Protests took place despite siege.
“the people want to topple the regime”
Damascus / Al-Qadam: “One Hand” “Leave, leave”
“The people want to topple the regime” Banner: “the army is made up of our fathers, brothers and sons, we not stand with us then?”
Banners denouncing killing and sectarianism.
Damascus / Naher Eisheh: “the people want to topple the regime”
“He who kills his own people is a traitor” “Long Live Syria, Down with Bashar Al-Assad”
Damascus / Al-Hajar Al-Aswad: “the people want to topple the regime”
Damascus / Douma: security officers take over streets
Damascus / Douma: despite the heavy security presence, people managed to hold a small protest chanting” Freedom, Freedom” and “the people want to topple the regime”
Damascus / Mouaddamiyyeh: we want to send a telegram to the Baath regional command telling them down with Assad who is devoid of any sense of humanity”
Damascus / Zabadani
Lattakia / Sleibeh: “the people want to topple the regime” “Leave Bashar, there is no dialog”
Lattakia / Ramel: “Leave, leave.” Banner: people want to topple the regime.
Lattakia: “the people want to topple the regime”
Lattakia / Sanktouri
Deir Ezzor: a motorbike protest
Deir Ezzor: security clash with protesters
Deir Ezzor / Mayadeen
“the people want to topple the regime”
Deir Ezzor / Al-Basserah: poster of Assad burnt
Deir Ezzor / Al-Qouriyyeh
Idlib / Banash: chants against Assad family members
Idlib /Jabal Zawiyeh
Idlib / Areeha: “No to Iran, No to Hezbollah”
Idlib / Kafar Nabol
Hama / Al-Aasi Square: “the people want to topple the regime”
Aleppo: arrests