While world leaders are appalled, the protesters in Syrian are undaunted. Thousands take to the streets in Syria after the Night Prayers.
After weeks-long mass detention campaign, the Assads sent their troops, tanks and death squads into major protest communities in a calculated move to snuff out the spirit of the protest movement. Indeed, this move seem to risk the occurrence of major defections, but defections are a small price for the Assads, in fact, defections seem to be an integral part of their plan as they might help transform the revolution into a confessional civil war scenario, which is what the Assads have been itching for from the beginning.
The Arrest of Nawaf Al-Basheer, the chieftain of the Baggarah Tribe, with over 1.5 million in Syria alone, not to mention its extensions in Iraq and the Gulf, seem designed for this purpose as well, especially considering Nawaf’s role in preserving the peaceful character of the protests in his community. Now, reports from Deir Ezzor City, capital of the Baggarah Tribe, speak of young men arming themselves and swearing to defend the City, having evacuated most of the women and children, and moved them to neighboring communities. But so far, there has been little violence on their part. Most of the violence witnessed in the region seems to be restricted to clashes between pro-Assad troops and militias, and the band of defectors.
There will be more defections and more clashes throughout Ramadan. The troops commanded by the defector Colonel Riyad Al-Asaad, seem serious and could become the nucleus of a larger movement. But, barring few individual incidents here and there, the protest movement itself will remain peaceful.
Other parts of Syria that witnessed violent incursions by Assad loyalists today include Deir Ezzor City, Ma’arrat Al-Nouman and Jarjanaz in Idlib, Deraa City and Al-Hirak in Deraa/Hauran Province, and the Damascene suburbs of Mouaddamiyah and Kisweh.