Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Return to Inferno?

By now, we all know the kind of disease that is eating away at Assad’s mind, but pray tell me what sort of disease is eating away at the world’s conscience?

Monday April 16, 2012

Death Toll: 50 in Homs, Hama and Idlib City (21).  

Op-Eds & Special Reports
"There is no going back," says Alloush. "The Free Syrian Army is a reality and we have to accept it. But that does not mean that we have to accept them as the leaders of this revolution. I know these people, and I know that many of them want to turn Syria into an Islamic republic if they get the chance.”
Turkey has been debating implementing a humanitarian corridor that would allow the international community to bring relief to civilians in Syria. Ankara should make a strong case for opening the first such corridor from Turkey into Syria's Alawite heartland or the multi-ethnic city of Latakia. This would signal Turkey's intent to protect all Syrians. Such a corridor would be a bridge not only between Ankara and Alawites, but perhaps also between Turkish Sunnis and Alevis. And it may reduce internal opposition to intervention.

New Needless Controversy

SNC president, Burhan Ghalioun, raised a new controversy with Syria’s Kurdish population when he categorically rejected, in an interview with Kurdish TV station Rudaw, the notion of federalism or autonomy that Kurdish parties and groups have been demanding as their national right for decades.

Mr. Ghalioun said that there is no entity in Syria known as Kurdistan Syria, and those Kurds who advocate federalism are clinging to a “useless illusion.” Calling for federalism is tantamount to a call for separatism. The Kurds are not entitled to autonomy, the Sorbonne professor said, because there is no region in Syria where the population is 100% Kurdish. The Kurds might be a majority in some cities, but there is no region called Kurdistan in Syria, he said. This idea is nothing but an attempt at cloning the Iraqi model, he asserted. By taking part in the revolution, the Kurds will get their rights recognized not only in the areas where they exist but all over the country.

Needless to say, these declarations have roiled the Kurdish population and Kurdish activists throughout the world and are not likely to endear the SNC president or the SNC itself to the Kurds. And Kurdish participation in the revolution will continue to dwindle.

Meanwhile, those in the Syrian opposition who dismiss the SNC as a Turkish construct will see new evidence in this anti-Kurdish stance by Mr. Ghalioun, and the SNC will continue to considered by them as well as Syria’s other religious minorities, not to mention liberal forces within the Arab population, as a coalition representing the interests of leftists, Arab nationalists and Islamists, but not their own. This will severely undermine the SNC’s ability to lead the transitional period, if talk of transition still carries any meaning or significance at this stage.

Video Highlights

Arrested loyalist officers are often found with pens that hide cameras and a GPS device on them to enable collection of information and tracking, but defected officers have warned FSA colleagues of eh dangers and are spreading awareness of the matter http://youtu.be/UYwcl45EOVI  

In Homs City’s Khaldiyeh Neighborhood, and despite the heavy pounding, some locals insist on rallying to remind Assad that “we’re coming to get you [sucker!]” http://youtu.be/afDSqcNl0Yw But the pounding soon resumed http://youtu.be/4o-GghzYu2U A house catches fire http://youtu.be/t3i3WnXvS-U   Elsewhere, in Insha’aat, the rally was bigger http://youtu.be/O1jyW93s0v0  

But the main story is still that of continuing pounding in a clear infringement of the ceasefire agreement: Jouret Al-Shayah http://youtu.be/VK6ClZ8XL6o , http://youtu.be/omLp4SPz5e8 , http://youtu.be/YIstEeLJFQo Tanks firing http://youtu.be/PK7hRAilzL8 Qarabis http://youtu.be/xOD46uwN490 , http://youtu.be/bqeZ62BaDv4 , http://youtu.be/16TqxvUFvoE  Qoussour http://youtu.be/tjqYan8v79k , http://youtu.be/-ZNoKApVXcE House catches fire http://youtu.be/tgZ1mALXkrk And another: Bayadah http://youtu.be/zKggFnUraxw , http://youtu.be/xq3cZxXI8mc The pounding became very intense, and activists played cat-and-mouse with the falling shells http://youtu.be/UnCo6nnBCKs

Idlib City came under heavy gunfire as well http://youtu.be/23gqn-Kniyo , http://youtu.be/2woRG825WOM In nearby Saraqib, a chopper overflies and pound the town http://youtu.be/Xt-vnbRwcEk

In Damascus City, stopping traffic by burning tires has become a daily routine in many neighborhoods: Baghdad Street http://youtu.be/Yz_3dqBTc6o