Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How can we just let it happen again?

Today evil has a new name: Assad. What’s the point of having any kind of international order, if it always falls apart when faced with such banal evil?

Monday February 06, 2012

Today’s death toll: 128. The Breakdown: 61 in Homs (including 4 children), 15 in Rural Damascus, 11 in Idlib, 5 in Aleppo, 1 in Hassakeh, 1 in Hama …

In addition to the inner neighborhoods of Homs City, the suburb of Daraya in Rural Damascus also came under heavy pounding by mortars and BMPs. Other communities that were pounded include: Rastan (Homs), Zabadani (Damascus) Ma’arrat Al-Nouman, Kafrenbel and Khan Shaikhoon (Idlib) and Basr Al-Harir (Deraa).

Head of the Free Syrian Army, Lt. Col. Riad Al-Assaad, distanced himself today from the recent announcement concerning the formation of a High Syrian Council for the Liberation of Syria, saying that there is no actual coordination between Major General Mustafa Ahmad Al-Sheikh and his few followers and the FSA. Col. Al-Ass’aad also accused the Syrian National Council of conspiracy for failing to provide support to the rebels despite repeated public pledges in this regard http://youtu.be/ah1IJt6rT98 Ensuing calls between SNC leaders and the Colonel led to a joint statement stressing continued coordination.

Rebels affiliated with the FSA say that they have freed their 11 Iranian hostages as result of mediation by Turkish authorities through the local NGO IHH and out of appreciation for their role in supporting the Syrian refugees. The spokesman for the group also says that they consider the Iranian people as friends of Syria and that their only objection is to the support that the Iranian government has so far provide to the Assads http://youtu.be/5fZoWlDijbM

News
Op-Eds & Special Reports
Rebels & Opposition
By Ammar Abdulhamid: “The good news is that it’s not too late to prevent catastrophe. The bad news is that no world leader, so far at least, has had the courage to admit that this situation requires some form of intervention, nor to help lead a serious discussion about the specifics of that intervention. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently called for the formation of a contact group on Syria. This needs to be implemented quickly. The issue cannot be ignored or postponed any longer; the Assad killing machine must be stopped.”

Cool heads must prevail indeed. We should not let the violence in Syria, the daily massacres, the indiscriminate bombardment of residential neighborhoods, all orchestrated by Assads and their loyalists, detract us from certain geopolitical realities and complications involved in the Syrian situation, namely: Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah, Hama, chemical weapons, sectarian balances, blablablablablablablablablablablablabla… Meanwhile over 1,000 people have been killed in the last 5 days, and the Assad killing machine is running on full steam now, with Russian, Chinese and Iranian support.

What do protesters have, other than their willpower and the few light weapons they got their hands on? Nothing. And for all the talk of conspiracy on part of the Assads and their supporters, who in the world is actually standing by the protesters? No one. Not even the leaders of the opposition groups speaking in their name.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that, even as bloodier and bloodier massacres get perpetrated day after day by Assad supporters, we find people like Nicholas Noe, a contributing writer for Bloomberg View but here writing for The New York times proposing offering 3 incentives to the Assads (yes, the Assads!?). And the incentives: calling on the FSA to cease its operations against loyalists, gradually lifting the sanctions imposed on the Assads and, finally, peace talks with Israel!

And what about the protesters and their demands for freedom, justice, Assad’s departure? Noe offers us silence, the greatest gift of all. After all, freedom can wait, or as he put it: “Syrians’ aspirations for freedom might be met much later than anyone would like.” In other words, Noe’s solution to the current crisis: give the Assads everything they want in the hope that they give you some of what you want, but don’t hold your breath. This is the way has been dealing with the Assads for four decades now. This is what got us to this point to begin with. But we are tired of being hostage to the whims, greed and psychopathy of the Assads. So let there be war if need be. But don’t take my word for it, take his:

Local Baba Amr activist Khalid Abou Salah speaks from his hospital bed, having been injured in today’s pounding: “We are the fuel of the fuel of this revolution, and we will topple this regime” http://youtu.be/P9QF-8xKCm8

Homs

Homs City

Baba Amr: The pounding intensifies http://youtu.be/ijKSbd3AQeg , http://youtu.be/Wk_Drl2FxVM , http://youtu.be/lGDBH0MUgNo , http://youtu.be/sPG2i6iWdW8 , http://youtu.be/vO1oSRPp1yQ , http://youtu.be/92waWAZfTrM , http://youtu.be/zi-ixpiPkUM Rockets are used http://youtu.be/FOyD4w28_uY An activist takes a tour of some of the streets even as the pounding takes place http://youtu.be/hBK2QH3Pj4Y Another takes a tour of another part of the neighborhood http://youtu.be/83LZr_Xa4zk And another tour of another part http://youtu.be/bAjS8npbNE0

Evacuating a building to save its inhabitants from the pounding http://youtu.be/ZMH2ji_89vY The tanks laying siege to the neighborhood and taking part in the pounding http://youtu.be/2PcZ2ixOBXA

Local Activist Dani Abdeldayim takes us on a tour of the local field hospital where hallways are strewn with dead bodies, and there we discover that Khalid Abu Salah, the well-known protest leader who has just been injured with his cameraman http://youtu.be/kO7i8ontM58 The doctor, Muhammad Al-Muhammad, who has lost his voice, introduces Khalid who promises that the revolution will continue until the regime is toppled for all the bombardment taking place http://youtu.be/P9QF-8xKCm8 Khalid was injured when he was reporting on the pounding taking place near the hospital. Here he calls on Arab and Muslim states to stand by the Syrian people, then tells Bashar Al-Assad “we won’t give up, even if you end up killing us all”  http://youtu.be/XEHlKl8F_VA This was Abou Salah when he arrived with some wounded at the hospital just before he himself was hit http://youtu.be/q-ZkfvC86tY

The Doctor Muhammad Al-Muhammad expresses his helplessness as another man dies despite his best efforts at, saving him http://youtu.be/wjuDxbOZaz0 , http://youtu.be/lhlhGnJhdc0 He shows off the bodies of the wounded, who include a fellow physician hit when the hospital was targeted http://youtu.be/rDwCqbg04kw , http://youtu.be/YBe28RBx_nU Lack of proper medical equipment and supplies mean more people will die http://youtu.be/hkfLbFX7JYw

Parts of the neighborhood have become a virtual ghost town where the sounds of bombardment echo as though they are coming from a surreal labyrinth of charred cement and broken glass http://youtu.be/rbW4uKNjXO8 , http://youtu.be/Ew3YPgJngls


Scenes from the field hospital http://youtu.be/EGICKEkVV8U Even the hospital is not safe http://youtu.be/SxmAaXC8eRs , http://youtu.be/E1iQcuLPnew We often stress images of continued defiance, but cries of despair and helplessness can also be heard http://youtu.be/M80m0Mj06xA , http://youtu.be/h4qJ9nOLdCk Sometimes, there is nothing left to save or bury http://youtu.be/o6Ymd9peOdw


Impact of pounding http://youtu.be/IrpZY52II6w , http://youtu.be/waJbLM6W7ss , http://youtu.be/5Mi9WL4C_ww This destroyed house was used as field clinic http://youtu.be/toLpQjGmr0k The square where locals hold their rallies was hit http://youtu.be/bPLAXj9pcgc

Insha’aat: a body lies irretrievable in the street http://youtu.be/kUT3595eEyM

Khaldiyeh: the pounding continues http://youtu.be/luUViiDDY-8 , http://youtu.be/Zv0_af3fd2I , http://youtu.be/wPrXWrP8QSY The only response people have are prayers http://youtu.be/LFSG2_Un_HM In between episodes of shelling, locals try to put out the fires themselves http://youtu.be/rOJ2al9Jis8 then clean up the neighborhood http://youtu.be/d6Pwezhf_os People are trapped in this house that caught fire as a result of the intensive pounding, the father is crying because he is unable to reach his kids http://youtu.be/gJd86ZIDHtY Demolished homes http://youtu.be/jd8jjIJVYs4 , http://youtu.be/NJZTtEIvL4A , http://youtu.be/fAIc5MaxbYA

Al-Rifai: the pounding continues http://youtu.be/cjMttmhvbU0 Snipers are still taking positions around the block http://youtu.be/rcSJkhYcIAM

Bab Al-Sibaa: Snipers are still taking part of the action http://youtu.be/drXG5i9nN-A

Karm Al-Zeitun: treating the wounded http://youtu.be/gAM2t75Ey70 , http://youtu.be/bbB09c3hGp4  Even the pigeons are wounded http://youtu.be/V3Ksl6hRVDM Demolished home, blood cover the streets http://youtu.be/_4AsnBuZ00o A martyr http://youtu.be/utJ2iRUrqi0 Mother says goodbye http://youtu.be/0LoGHzzFHJw Another martyr http://youtu.be/tyrEToqseQA Impact of shelling on Riyad Mosque http://youtu.be/2Nnh0hcq87k The roof of this house collapses under the shelling http://youtu.be/T6_mm-gDhoc

Bayadah: local FSA members take over the local postal office, which was used as a loyalist headquarters http://youtu.be/tcje9Wt5Fzw and hoist the independence flag on top of it http://youtu.be/k9iiqpby7_Y Impact of pounding on the neighborhood http://youtu.be/V5Rjee0UWLc , http://youtu.be/pssViX2DB0I  Martyr http://youtu.be/LDzbzUZeo5U some locals abandon the neighborhood http://youtu.be/2dVijO0qFXs , http://youtu.be/_kUuG1C88Ck

Deir Baalbah: The pounding resumes http://youtu.be/WxzU_332xZg A demolished house http://youtu.be/5dEuQFOEBF8 Impact of shelling on the neighborhood http://youtu.be/7TPfo-Y6Oew

Al-Rabei Al-Arabi: impact of shelling http://youtu.be/UpbIJ_NBIHA , http://youtu.be/qE_5WUuRP20

Ghoutah: A martyr http://youtu.be/tohUKsoFF78

Dablan: a mortar round hits the neighborhood http://youtu.be/nFkV4nSulAI

Malaab: impact of pounding http://youtu.be/jUfUbolA5_4


Meanwhile, more soldiers announce their defection citing their refusal to obey the orders they received to attack residential communities and unarmed civilians. They join the Free Syrian Army http://youtu.be/32uR3wmlJ_M

Nighttime Rallies

Homs Province

Rastan: the dead lie in the streets as a result of continued pounding http://youtu.be/1dMy4Nbf6SY Demolished homes http://youtu.be/R2oZ1El8ejA A house belonging to the former minister of defense Moustafa Tlas who hails from Rastan was hit http://youtu.be/Y-jPIiieoaY A rocket just hit this home http://youtu.be/GPu9QFJZoWA

Tadmor: A tank positioned near the local security headquarters http://youtu.be/z5FGjwtvHQY

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Damascus

Damascus City

Kafar Sousseh: protesters come under fire http://youtu.be/xU0CHR4JcoI

Midan: protesters block the main roads with burning tires at night http://youtu.be/PJQe617kKVQ

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies

Eastern Ghoutah

Kafar Batna: drones fly over the suburb http://youtu.be/nrR0CBXQUqI Tanks patrol the streets http://youtu.be/o4k4qItpwKY

Nighttime Rallies

Damascus South

Daraya: Pounding the neighborhood with mortars http://youtu.be/4aRHtZkfGfw , http://youtu.be/P-iXy7OUO-4 ,  http://youtu.be/TuVrRkUhPHE , http://youtu.be/bbNaHh8Bgj8 , http://youtu.be/3hlo-4uP0mQ  Machinegun fire echoes in the distance (starting at 2o seconds) http://youtu.be/IYeUW7EZ4rg

Al-Hajar Al-Aswad: closing down the main streets at night with burning tires http://youtu.be/g12LXCcSQkw

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies

West (Zabadani and Wadi Barada)


Daytime Rallies

North (The Qalamoun Region )

Dmeir: clashes between loyalists and rebels take place at night http://youtu.be/oqvdFKdsCO8

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Hama

Hama Province

Shaizar: A martyr http://youtu.be/StePzgItvJ4

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Idlib


Kafrenbel: sounds of nighttime clashes between loyalists and rebels near the city http://youtu.be/V_mJKQHVRis , http://youtu.be/9BWFotB-3Fw

Heesh comes under fire at night http://youtu.be/mOddoMpEMFk


Ma’arrat Al-Nouman: major reinforcements arrive into town http://youtu.be/9GOcGafmWEI , http://youtu.be/veQPqPzIAoc the town gets pounded http://youtu.be/H4ODP79RKWY , http://youtu.be/Sv5UC8fL8qQ People burn tires in the streets in protest http://youtu.be/6ITIcw4Bj3U Pandemonium after the town is hit at night http://youtu.be/z_JDd6Ov9RU Martyrs  http://youtu.be/oZzIrTBuOG4 , http://youtu.be/Kl8TTCaSOfY , http://youtu.be/wKDlfkA6AXs This martyr http://youtu.be/yitytTBs658 was killed while he was driving his car http://youtu.be/jpcRK2ZFWWw

Taftanaz: rescuing the wounded http://youtu.be/3TirnuUP56k

Khan Shaikhoon: treating the wounded of the recent bombardment http://youtu.be/5Jif-BwHKlY , http://youtu.be/MSDyuV6PubM , http://youtu.be/02FXU2NxOB0 , http://youtu.be/xyuBfxDdJes

Jisr Ashoughour comes under fire at night http://youtu.be/Ib8eqG3RjP8

Sarjah: local rebels pay a visit to the town and are warmly welcomed by the inhabitants http://youtu.be/DcNYhY5xoxk

Darkoush: Loyalist take up positions at the outskirts of the town http://youtu.be/T_IJkG_ubnk , http://youtu.be/e4hOqzkDx9g But people take to the streets at night to protest their presence http://youtu.be/NZEEfI-GjjQ

More defections http://youtu.be/eq8AluQJD0Y

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Deraa/Hauran

Deraa City

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies

Deraa/Hauran Province

Basr Al-Harir comes under fire at night http://youtu.be/7RTxPf-oI44 , http://youtu.be/AiCMjAFcKYM

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Aleppo

Aleppo City

Nighttime Rallies

Aleppo Province

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Deir Ezzor


Daytime Rallies
Deir Ezzor City (all-women) http://youtu.be/mUaVhFRo4n0

Nighttime Rallies


Hassakeh



Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Raqqah


Nighttime Rallies