Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Arab League Monitors – Meaningless In Action!

As the monitors monitor and opposition groups oppose, even themselves, in Syria, the Assads and their loyalists keep killing and the protesters keep protesting, and this remains the real story.

Tuesday 3, 2012

Today’s death toll: 23. The Breakdown: 11 in Hama City, 1 in Qamhaneh (Hama Province), 4 in Homs City, 3 in Idlib Province, 2 in Rural Damascus, and 1 in Deraa/Hauran Province.

18 loyalists have reportedly been killed in overnight clashes between loyalists and defectors on the highway connecting the towns of Jassem and Ankhel in the Deraa/Hauran Province. Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Riyad Al-Ass’aad gave Arab League monitors days to bring the violence against civilians and protesters under control, else he promised to unleash major new resistance operations against loyalists.

The Executive Office of the Syrian National Council officially voted to reject the proposed unity agreement with the National Coordinative Body for Democratic Change, following the popular backlash against it by protesters.

A previously unknown group calling itself “The Movement to Counter the Shia Expansion in Syria” took responsibility for the kidnapping of 5 Iranian engineers in Homs City back in December 21, saying that the move comes a warning to both Iran and Hezbollah to refrain from supporting the Assad regime. The announcement was made through a fax sent to Agence France Press offices in Nicosia. There is no independent confirmation of the existence of the group, the kidnapping itself has only been reported in Iranian press. However, claims that the engineers will be tortured to admit that they are members of the IRCG seem meant as preemptive move. Protesters have always have always asserted that the Iranian advisers were working closely with loyalist Assad militias in orchestrating the crackdown.

Monday’s death toll was raised to 24.

The General Strike continues to be observed by protest communities throughout the country.

Ammar Abdulhamid, a U.S.-based Syrian dissident who has been closely following events in his homeland through a vast network of sources, puts the figure much higher at 315.

HOMS CITY: Baba Amr: handing over an armored vehicle that was captured by local FSA members during the loyalist invasion of Bab Amr to the AL monitors as per their request But these armored vehicles are still controlled and operated by loyalist troops

A victim of sniper’s attack Khalidyeh a victim of torture Preparing the body for him for burial The funeral A funeral in Wadi Arab

A tank in Bab Dreib despite the assertion by Arab League Secretary General, Nabil Al-Arabi, that tanks have been pull out to the outskirts of the city

HOMS PROVINCE: Rastan People wait for AL monitors When they arrive, locals show them samples of the artillery shells used by loyalists A local complain that loyalist troops have confiscated his house Another asks if the visiting monitor agrees with the Nabil al-Arabi about tanks and troops being pulled out of cities

Near Rastan, the local gas pipeline comes under renewed attack , Locals talk to the monitors and disavow responsibility for the attack, saying their town is completely under siege and no one can wiggle out to mount such an operation

Funeral in Tal Kalakh

HAMA CITY: People say goodbye to AL monitors Earlier, they locals told the delegates where they could find snipers where they could find the wounded where they could find mass graves An activist tells one of the monitors to contact them using Skype Other show them the impact of pounding on their neighborhoods they show them the bullet holes on buildings

Protesters in Jisr Al-Mizrab come under fire even as AL monitors tour another part of town (Hamidiyeh)

IDLIB: Idlib City a funeral in the morning a funeral in the evening for this defector

Rallies Zardana Banner “We are free inasmuch as we have power, and powerful in as much as we have freedom” Kafroumah Ariha Saraqib Young revolutionaries look on Kafar Yahmoul Jabal Al-Zawiyeh Sarmeen Binnish , Taftanaz

DAMASCUS CITY: Daraya People hold their daily rally Hoisting independence flags all over the suburb , Banner “You will fall” At night, locals organize a larger rally

A martyr from Qaboun A nighttime funeral in Jobar ,

DAMASCUS – EAST: A funeral for this martyr led to a huge rally in Kafar Batna IN Douma, locals staged an impromptu rally top protest the arrest of woman activist Fatin Rajab a martyr from Madeerah

DAMASCUS – SOUTH: An all-women rally in Artouz ,

DAMASCUS – WEST: Rallies Madaya protesters destroy a bust of Hafiz Al-Assad and put up banner calling on opposition groups to unite Zabadani Hameh

DERAA CITY: Al-Sabeel Neighborhood Local informs AL monitor that loyalists are sending fake delegations to identity and arrest local activists Activists from Damascus have made similar claims as well. Another Al-Sabeel resident complain against the brutal treatment that locals receive from loyalist troops Other locals show monitors the empty tear gas canisters used against them

Rallies Al-Balad Mahata Dahiyeh

DERAA/HAURAN: AL monitors arrive to meet locals in Tafas An activist repeatedly asks one of the monitor if he thinks the gathered crowd represent an armed gang, but he gets no response People stage a celebratory rally after the AL monitors leave town

In Ankhel, and following a fierce night of combat on the road connecting the towns of Ankhel and Jassem, locals stage a small rally of defiance using a model of the famous Clock-Tower of Homs City by way of showing support

DEIR EZZOR: Qouriyeh candlelight vigil

HASSAKEH: Qamishly: “Burhan Ghalioun, can’t you hear? The people want a no-fly zone” Amoudeh

TARTOUS: Banyas displaying the independence flag on the hill near the Marqb Citadel

QUNEITRAH: a funeral for an activist Sahem Al-Golan