Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shame & Defiance!

The increased wanton violence on part of the Assads and their loyalists continues to backfire, as rates of defections increase and previously quietist communities deciding to join the protest movement: Rural Aleppo and Raqqah City being the latest major additions. Even coastal communities are beginning to show signs of renewed agitation. Russia and China can ignore reality all they want, but they can’t veto it.

Saturday 04, 2012

Today’s death toll:  93. The Breakdown: 61 in Homs City, 10 in Idlib Province, 19 in Rural Damascus (16 in Daraya, 2 in Dmeir and 1 Moadamiyeh), 3 in Deraa/Hauran Province.

Local activists are still trying to sort out the number of the dead in Homs City as a result of Friday night pounding, a task complicated by the fact that many bodies of the dead have been stolen by loyalists and transported to whereabouts unknown. A more direct complication stems from the resumption of shelling at night of all major neighborhoods in Old Homs, including Khaldieyh.

Op-Eds & Special Reports

Social Media Reaction to UNSC failure to pass a resolution

* Supplies of National Shame and Dishonor must be running low in China, hence the rush to join Russia in vetoing the UNSC Resolution.

* The USC has just voted to refer the Syria File to the Free Syrian Army.

* And you thought only resolutions against Israel are impossible to get!  

What gives us hope, despite the increasing violence on part of the Assads and their loyalists, is the ability of protest and rebel leaders to refrain from falling back on tactics of sectarian violence and communal vendettas, despite all the massacres perpetrated by Assad loyalists and the continuous stoking of sectarian sentiments by their propagandists.

Indeede in 24 hours that followed the most horrific and bloody episodes witnessed since the beginning of the revolution, members of the Farouq Brigade of the Free Syrian Army, carried out a number of raids on loyalist checkpoints throughout the neighborhoods of Old Homs and arrested dozens of loyalists, including the 19 that were arrested yesterday. Yet, instead of revenge, the FSA officers are trying to send a message of reconciliation.

In this clip, the detained loyalists speak of having been treated humanely and paradoxically point out that the FSA in effect saved them by taking them from under the indiscriminate shelling Old Homs was witnessing.

For those seeking to understand the current dynamics taking place within the Assad family, and perhaps the Alawite community in general, on interview is of particular significance. Indeed, one Alawite officer says that he is answerable to Assef Chawkat, Assad’s brother-in-law, and he defends him as a “real man” blaming the crackdown on the Assad and Makhlouf families. But as an Alwite officer, he says, he encourages his comrade to embrace to stop supporting the regime and join the Free Syrian Army.

At the end of the video, a senior member of the Farouq Brigade promises to treat kindly any loyalist who surrenders vowing to annihilate the rest. He also says that by vetoing the UNSC resolution, Russia and China are given Assad more time to plunge the country into sectarian strife. He reminds them that regimes come and go but the people remain.

Just contract the way, FSA rebels treat their captors with what loyalists to captured defectors: summary execution followed by this “You want freedom?.. Assad is your God”


Homs City

Old Homs: shortly after capturing loyalists at a checkpoint, FSA office says that all will presented to justice

Khaldiyeh: Impact of pounding , Blood covers the streets A broher of one of yesterday’s martyrs speaks. He says the pounding began around 11:30 pm and continued until early dawn. He says we were bombed because we demanded freedom, justice and dignity, and we wanted to feel like citizens. He says in this part of the neighborhood alone that was hit with one mortar round 13 people were killed. Local activists say that around 300 mortar rounds were used in last night shelling of Old Homs

The mass funeral: around 70 of the dead were buried today , , , , Sheikh Mahmoud Dalati shores up the moral of the people

Local activist Khalid Abou Salah vows continued commitment to the revolution and calls on people all over Syria to shake the silence and hesitation and join the revolution Local activist Abdelbassit Sarout stands between the bodies and vows continued commitment to the revolution All participants in today’s mass funeral renew their revolutionary vows

Local activist Omar Tellawi takes part in burying unidentified remains

Bab Al-Sibaa: celebrating new defectors

Al-Rifai: a blood drive for the benefit of yesterday’s wounded

Bab Tadmor: a martyr Khaldiyeh: A martyr

Boustan Al-Diwan: defector sticks a poster decrying sectarianism on a destroyed tanks

Malaab: impact of pounding on the neighborhood and Omar Mosque

Baba Amr: Assad troops use tanks to destroy the trees in the fields surrounding the neighborhood the pounding of neighborhood resumes at night, local activist Dany Abdeldayim reports in English even as the pounding is taking place

Bab Dreib: a local high school catches fire on account of the pounding

The neighborhoods of Old Homs, including Bab Al-Sibaa and Khadiyeh get pounded with mortars ,

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies

Homs Province

Tadmor: loyalist target the minaret of a local mosque in a practice of targeting religious symbols that has become all too common The crackdown leaves a couple of martyrs: this is one This is another taking his last breaths on camera Locals stage a mass funeral for their martyrs , ,
Then they proceed to take over the local security headquarters and hoist the independence flag on top of it

Rastan: some of the tanks pounding the city (40 seconds) Impact of pounding on homes , , , Nonetheless, the task of liberating the city proceeds slowly with another checkpoint reclaimed by local FSA units Local women stage a blood drive The local Religious high school is pounded with mortars , Trying to save the life of a local child More injured children Local FSA unit on way to retake a loyalist checkpoints This unit just liberated a local school that was used as headquarters by loyalists By day-end, local FSA units claim to have liberated most of the town, including taking over the school that was used as headquarters by loyalist troops

Qusayr (Mubarakiyeh): A mortar round hit this house Killing this man Impact of pounding

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Damascus City

Barzeh: loyalists troops patrol the restive suburb ,

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Eastern Ghoutah

Kafar Batna: the pounding of the town resumes

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Damascus South

Moadamiyeh: this little girl, Jullanar, was killed during the overnight pounding Grieving for Jullanar Men were not allowed by loyalist militias to take part in the funeral of Jullanar, so local women did it on their own , including digging the grave and burying little Jullanar Loyalists harass the local women coming to take part in Jullanar’s funeral

Daraya: Thousands of mourners taking part in a mass funeral for yesterday’s local martyrs , , , , , comer under automatic machinegun fire , , The suburb was pounded with mortars setting houses on fire Many protesters remain defiant Kids join in Armored vehicles were used in the attack Rescuing the wounded Local FSA members try to put up a fight

Daytime Rallies

West (Zabadani and Wadi Barada)

Deir Miqrin: hoisting the independence flag at the entrance of the town

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North (The Qalamoun Region )

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Hama City

Aleppo Road: impact of pounding , Elsewhere in the city, loyalists looted shops observing a call for strike

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Hama Province

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Khirbet Al-Joz: the town is pounded at night

Idlib City: Five martyrs killed by snipers in the morning while on their way to work Close-ups , , The mass funeral

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Deraa City

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Al-Balad (funeral)

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Deraa/Hauran Province

Da’el: Local FSA unit announces that they have carried out several attacks on checkpoints throughout the city in retaliation for the massacres in Homs City and the earlier pounding of their city

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies
Sanamein Izra’a Sheikh Miskeen Da’el (a replica of noria is used to show solidarity with Hama on the 30th anniversary of the Massacre) Tseel Alma Jizeh


Aleppo City

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Aleppo Province

Al-Atareb: hoisting the independence flag on top of the local cultural center

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Deir Ezzor

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Raqqah City (Tal Abyad Street): Nighttime rally , attacked by loyalist troops Protesters had roamed the streets shouting slogans of solidarity with Homs and other protest communities tearing down posters of Assad wherever they found them , But then loyalists poured into the streets A security car rammed through the crowd killing one protester  Once, they drove the protesters out of the main square. They proceeded to celebrate appropriating a slogan of the revolution “freedom forever, in spite of you Assad” making it “Shabiha forever in spite of you Hamad (the Qatari prince)” Protesters remained defiant They managed to confiscate some of the riot gear used by loyalist security forces Treating the wounded


Daytime Rallies
Tartous City (Al-Barriyeh)