While Arab League monitors might eventually fail in achieving their specified objective, one which they themselves seem unable to define, their mere presence on the ground has served to galvanize the protest movement, by giving protesters a new focus for their frustration and hopes – an unintended consequence perhaps, but a welcome one nonetheless.
Friday 30, 2011
Today’s death toll: 32. The Breakdown: 9 in Hama City, 6 in Deraa City, 5 in Homs City (protesters who were arrested on Thursday), 4 in Tal Kalakh (Homs Province), 6 in Idlib Province, and 2 in the Damascene Suburbs of Daraya and Moadamiyah. 24 four people were injured in the Damascene Suburb of Douma when loyalist security officers used nail bombs when dispersing a local protest rally featuring 50,000 participants.
Arab League monitors toured the provinces of Idlib Hama and Deraa/Hauran. Over 1 million protesters took part in this Friday’s rallies, including close to 250,000 throughout the Idlib Province. Over 500 separate rallies in total took place throughout the country.
Maj. Gen. Riad Al-Ass’aad, leader of the Free Syrian Army, announced that he had issue a directive stopping all offensive operations during the AL monitoring mission expressing hopes that the final report would prove “professional” and fair.
The Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Committee sign an agreement to unify their efforts. The first article of the agreement rejects any “foreign intervention that undermines the sovereignty and independence of the country,” but does not consider Arab intervention to be a foreign intervention.
Tunisia has reportedly closed the Syrian embassy in Tunis on Wednesday ordering the Assad’s ambassador to leave the country.
The general Strike continues to be observed throughout protest communities.
Homs in grief after 'eye of truth' dies Comment: By the time he passed away, Basil had already inspired so many to pick up their cameras and do what he does: let the images they capture convey the truth of what's happening in Syria to the world, and to History. That’s truly a wonderful legacy. Basil managed to document even his own death http://youtu.be/Wr7865hS8LM
The town of Kafrenbel in Idlib Province, December 30, 2011 http://youtu.be/4HhkKar14o8
For their part, the inhabitant of nearby Sarmada, demonstrates how justice can best served at this stage http://youtu.be/lUt_44Fl2lw