Monday, February 6, 2012

Why won’t you help us?

“Let those who have a conscience look and see what’s happening to us in Syria” “What have we done to deserve this?”

Sunday 05, 2012

Today’s death toll: 71. The Breakdown: 43 civilians and 28 loyalist troops.

23, including 3 children and 2 women, were killed in the continued pounding of Homs City, especially the neighborhoods of Baba Amr, Karm Al-Shami, Bab Dreib, Bab Al-Sibaa and Inshaa’at, and the nearby towns of Houleh and Rastan. Horrific scenes continue to pour out of Baba Amr “These are children not terrorists”  

3 were killed in the suburb of Daraya in Damascus, a teenager and a woman as victims of random shooting by loyalist and a young man who died of wounds received on Saturday.

4 were killed in Idlib Province, including a 12 year-old girl from the village of Mastoumah and a young man from the village of Bsamis who was returned dead to his family having been imprisoned by loyalist security forces a few days earlier.

4 protesters were killed in the Deraa/Hauran Province.

Clashes near the village of Al-Barrah in Idlib Province, left 14 loyalist troops dead, including 3 officers. 19 Loyalist soldiers were captured by rebels. 

In the town of Zabadani in Rural Damascus, 3 loyalist officers were killed in clashes with rebels protecting the town from invasion. Meanwhile, the pounding of Zabadani and the neighboring town of Madaya the town continues. 

The pounding of the historic town of Tadmor (Palmyra) has been escalated with over 500 mortar rounds and anti-airplane missies used in the operations so far.

Meanwhile, and in a typical fashion, Syrian opposition groups responded to the massacres by issuing more statements and forming new groups and councils that decried divisiveness. Today, the highest ranking officer to defect to Turkey, Major General Mustafa Ahmad Al-Sheikh, announced the formation of the High Syrian Council for the Liberation of Syria. Two days ago, a group of 70 Syrians announced the formation of the National Current for Change, which sprung up of the Antalya Conference for Change the first opposition coalition to be launched after the beginning of the Revolution. For its part, the Syrian National Council, continued its practice of issuing stentorian pronouncements celebrating its various successes in reaching out to the international community while simultaneously decrying the violence perpetrated by the Assads.

Op-Eds & Special Reports

The story on the ground in Homs in particular is this: loyalists cannot stand up to local rebels in direct combat, they are always pushed out to the outskirts of rebellious communities after each assault, and they are in fact losing ground. But from their position on the outskirts they can continue to inflect damage on rebels by indiscriminately pounding their strongholds with artillery and mortar fire. That’s what’s happening in Old Homs, and that’s what’s happening in the town of Rastan, among other restive communities.

Should rebels lay their hands on more sophisticated weaponry, the entire momentum of the current conflict will shift to their side. Liberated town will become truly liberated and protected, and the Assad and their loyalists will be forced to be truly on the defensive for once. It’s only when this situation is created on the ground that the world can push for a negotiated settlement. By that time, the Assads will have been sufficiently weakened within their own camp as well for other likely leaders to emerge and influence the decision-making process.


Homs City

Baba Amr: The pounding touches even the local cemetery and the surrounding residential neighborhoods , , Local activist Khalid Abou Salah shows off two wounded children: one who lost his lower jaw and another who lost his left leg as result of the pounding of the neighborhood and calls for international support. “These are children, not terrorists,” he says , “Let those who have a conscience look and see what’s happening to us in Syria”

Bab Tadmor: This car was hit in the shelling and its 2 occupants were killed , But local members of the FSA manage to wrest control over the historical House of Trabelsi from loyalists , , , Locals celebrate the precarious victory

Bab Al-Sibaa: Wounded , Martyr A survey of the neighborhood after pounding

Bab Dreib: local woman is martyred

Wadi Arab: A martyr

Al-Rifai: sniper victim Saying goodbye the neighborhood is pounded

Jouret Al-Shayah: 2 martyrs Their impromptu funeral

Insha’aat: Local hospital is targeted by the pounding And the local mosque as well

Karm Al-Zeitun: Local activist Aboul Zein introduces us to some of the victims in his neighborhood Martyrs , , , Funeral Mothers grieving ,

Asheerah: hoisting the independence flag on one of the building solicits a barrage of automatic machinegun fire The neighborhood gets pounded A house catches fire The pounding continues Black smoke fills the skies

Deir Baalbah: locals find two unidentified bodies thrown in one of the main streets of their suburb At dusk, the neighborhood comes under fire , Treating the wounded ,

Al-Rabei Al-Arabi: The neighborhood is pounded , Chopper flying over the neighborhood  Another, or perhaps the same flies over Bayadah Baba Amr and lands on top of the military hospital in Wa’er A short while later, it flies away

Boustan Al-Diwan: locals tried to commemorate the Prophet’s birthday, despite the miseries all around

Wa’er: locals stage a nighttime play mocking Assad and his mother

Bayadah: locals complain of lack of all basic services and foodstuffs ,

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies
Homs Province

Rastan: Impact of pounding , Families leave the town in cars and on foot to get out from under the continuous shelling, which sometimes affected entire families

But even as the pounding and dying continue, local rebels continue their drive to liberate the city. Here a group of them blow up the local headquarters of political security and With such operations the city has practically come under their complete control , Indeed, local rebel leader, Ahmad Bahbouh, declares the town “liberated” In between rounds of pounding, locals hold a rally to celebrate their precarious liberty

Samples of the shell used in the pounding of Rastan

Houleh: more generals defect A shell explodes next to the cameraman, no word on his condition

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Damascus City

Protester tears down a poster of Assad hoisted at the back entrance of a local security branch in broad daylight These “small” acts of defiance are daily happenings in Damascus and Aleppo.

Midan: locals held a public prayer for the victims of the Assads, old and new 

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies
Eastern Ghoutah

Saqba: a tank column patrols the streets of the town

Nighttime Rallies
Damascus South

Daraya: the neighborhood is invaded by loyalist troops who open fire on mourners taking part in a funeral for yesterday’s martyrs The cameraman is hit by a shrapnel but he is rescued by colleagues The neighborhood gets pounded , Black smoke fills the sky , Saving the wounded A martyr Loyalist security officers and burn shops Pulling a victim of a sniper attack to safety (Feb 4)

Daytime Rallies

West (Zabadani and Wadi Barada)

Ain Al-Fijeh: the town is currently under the control of local unit of the FSA

Nighttime Rallies
North (The Qalamoun Region )

Dmeir: local rebury their dead, after their bodies were dug out by loyalist troops A child martyr

Nighttime Rallies


Hama City

Nighttime Rallies
Hama Province

Daytime Rallies


Kafrenbel: 11 security officers defect and join the ranks of the FSA

Ma’ar Shourine: A martyr A Funeral

KhanShaikhoon: A martyr

Idlib City: Loyalist militias fire at a nighttime rally , wounded are brought to the local hospital A martyr

Jisr Ashoughour: the city gets pounded after midnight (1 min into the clip) 

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies
Binnish (burning the Russian and Chinese flags while chanting “Russia and China, go to hell”) Sarmada Najiyeh Talf Sarmeen


Deraa City

Nighttime Rallies
Deraa/Hauran Province

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Aleppo Province

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies

Deir Ezzor

A new fighting unit is formed

Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Qamishlo: Kurdish protesters clash with security forces

Daytime Rallies
Qamishlo (funeral)

Nighttime Rallies


Daytime Rallies

Nighttime Rallies


Raqqah City (Wadi): Locals take to the streets again , , , Spraying revolutionary slogans on the pavements , Treating a protester who inhaled tear gas

Nighttime Rallies