Waiting, passing time, stalling, focusing on other priorities, burying your head in the sand, that’s the essence of America’s Plan B on Syria. Why not? After all, the death toll, as so many have been reminding us of late, is only… Only! The magic ineffable number has not been reached yet.
As the brave students of Aleppo University continue their defiance of Assad’s henchmen and death squads even after the university was closed, it will be great if university students around the world showed some solidarity by staging anti-Assad sit-ins and rallies in their campuses. This might just compensate on the moral level for the failure of world leaders to act.
The rural areas of Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Idlib, Deir Ezzor, Damascus and Daraa have been decimated by the violent crackdown conducted by troops and death squads loyal to Assad. Warfare conditions continue to prevail in major cities, including Deir Ezzor City, Hama City and Homs City. In Deir Ezzor City and other towns in Deir Ezzor Province, clashes between loyalists and members of the local resistance have been steadily increasing in scope and intensity. Many towns and villages across the country have been laid to waste. Some, like Bosralharir in Daraa Province, and Houleh and Rastan in Homs Province, have been under siege for months with locals on the verge of starvation. But they remain steadfast in their defiance and rejection of the Assad regime.
For their part, western media outlets and officials continue to quote the months-old number of 9,000 fatalities, but the current toll, according to sources on the ground, is now close to 14,000 with number of the missing currently estimated at 15,000. In our experience with the Assads, missing is another word for dead.
Meanwhile, Obama’s Plan B seems to ignore the situation until the elections are over at which time his Plan C might just turn out to be Plan A Redux.
And the unraveling continues…
Sentiments on the ground continue to harden due to frustration with international community and increasing disappointment with the leaders of the Syrian National Council. In the town of Binnish, Idlib Province, on Friday May 4, people carried banners calling for the downfall of the SNC and its leader Burhan Ghalioun http://youtu.be/xypdtnFOhMU
Hundreds of rallies are taking place on a daily basis in communities around Syria. The images are pretty familiar by now. Here are a few:
Damascus: Arbeen http://youtu.be/MtKUBX2vBlY Zamalka http://youtu.be/IC7FN9HM18Y Hajar Al-Aswad http://youtu.be/z8briStsocE Eltal (funeral) http://youtu.be/zo8NCKyKTJA , http://youtu.be/fu8yw5CdvOo , http://youtu.be/if3X9ZbPcqg , http://youtu.be/EaxpMKUDaLw Damascus City (Kafar Sousseh – mass funeral) http://youtu.be/4jb2X6G7_Tk , http://youtu.be/HJe07JdvWBo
Home Province: Talbisseh http://youtu.be/hC2hdXyXFFQ Teir Ma’allah (funeral) http://youtu.be/rYpiF6BytIU
Aleppo Province: Tal Rif’aat http://youtu.be/06aDGcIM8FU Shiran http://youtu.be/6nZcix4BC3E Marei (funeral) http://youtu.be/hQ5tWtw9ITQ
Idlib: Jobass http://youtu.be/df_RrrddKWQ Kafrenbel http://youtu.be/SORMtRtnLKA Al-Rami http://youtu.be/BwGD7Xt0wbo Habeet http://youtu.be/pbXOruUXsSg
The Monitoring Mission
The UN monitors keep monitoring (Madaya, Rural Damascus) http://youtu.be/5eEncQlnyKU , http://youtu.be/UPI1vkHp3Do Locals take advantage of the presence of foreign media to demand arms for the FSA and freedom for the detainees http://youtu.be/XD9JNIMF-9A
In the town of Da’el, Daraa Province, people receive the UN monitors by reminding that that the army troops they are talking to are traitors, because they are loyal to Assad not the people http://youtu.be/QGQJxniu0OY
In Kafroumah, Idlib Province, locals come out in drives to receive the UN monitors reminding them of the basic mantra “the people want to topple the regime” http://youtu.be/xyW83jU8nAs
In Talbisseh, Homs Province, UN monitors were welcomed by local members of the FSA http://youtu.be/g4ON8LOG5Ek In nearby Qusayr, locals come out chanting “Freedom forever in spite of you Assad” http://youtu.be/_taipzenyYA
This is what the people of Kafrenbel, Idlib Province, think of the UN mission
And this is how Kafrenbel residents view the current elections in the U.S.