Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Bloody Bit of History Repeating!

There is nothing about the situation in Syria: a dictator and his inner circle manipulating sectarian sentiments pitting few social groups against others, perpetrating massacres and spreading mayhem, all in order to remain in power... The reality is: we’ve seen this scenario playing out many times before. The indifference of international leaders and their confusion have always been part of the plot as well. But that’s exactly what makes this situation so tragic. The suffering is also real.

Tuesday July 10, 2012

Today’s Death toll:  71. The Breakdown: 19 in Deir Ezzor, 12 in Damascus (11 in Suburbs, 1 in City), 11 in Aleppo, 8 in Homs, 7 in Daraa, 7 in Idlib, 3 in Hama  and 1 in Lattakia.


Op-Eds & Special Reports

A country at war with itself. Bombs and civilian massacres. Yet, in Damascus, the music plays on.
Some 10,000 lives have been lost during the Syrian government’s vicious crackdown on protesters, according to the United Nations, and the violence is threatening to spread to neighboring countries.  Yet in the capital of Damascus, the music plays on for the nation’s elite. To the Christians, Alawites, and secular Sunnis, President Bashar Assad has guaranteed stability in the country.

"In general, we want to see all sanctions tightened and strengthened," said Ammar Abdulhamid, a political activist based in Washington. "But the issue of diesel is complicated, as our own people could get hurt." More on the Venezuela Connection in CNN’s: Venezuelan diesel shipments to Syria fuel controversy

Not one or two or three or four or five towns are getting pounded every day, but dozens. Dozens of towns and suburbs and villages across Syria are getting shelled indiscriminately using heavy artillery, tanks and helicopter gunships. The whole thing is happening in full light of day. Why is this permissible? What happened to promises of “never again?”

Video Highlights

Members of the FSA manage to capture one of Assad’s security chiefs Brig. Gen. Munir Shlaibeh, an Alawite from the town of Jableh. He was responsible for running an anti-terrorism unit based in the Midan District in Damascus, and is known for involvement in the Seydnaya Prison Massacre in July of 2008. He says “there are no terrorists” and asserts that his unit did not kill anyone. He was obviously physically abused. He keeps shuffling around, which might suggest that he was beaten on the soles of his feet. He was forced to chant “Curse your soul Hafiz.” He was asked if he planned to defect and join the FSA, he replied “they will execute my children.” He insists though that “President Bashar has no knowledge of what’s happening.” He says he thinks the Salafi Sheikh Adnan Arour, popular among Islamist protesters, to be a “moderate” cleric and says that he wishes the FSA will treat him fairly. This is a leaked video showing the aftermath of the Seydnaya Massacre, we can see Brig. Gen. Shlaibeh appearing in civvies, as is the habit of security chiefs, at the end of the clip (1:16)  

The town of Hreitan, Aleppo Province, gets pounded again despite the presence of UN monitors Local resistance provides security Helicopter gunships flies over the town at low altitude observing the observers UN monitors inspect damage and talk to locals

Nearby Eizaz is pounded with tanks Hayan is also pounded , , , In nearby Anadan, local fighters take control of a tank

Nearby Houla is pounded as well Talbisseh is pounded again ,

As for Homs City, you can just taste the hate driving the nonstop pounding of the Old Homs: Jouret Al-Shayah , , , , Hamidiyeh

Khan Shaikhoon, Idlib Province: local resistance bring down a chopper

Towns and communities in Daraa Province continue to heavy pounded including by helicopter gunships as is the case in Jizah We can hear local activists laugh as they film this scene showing missiles leaving the chopper Obviously, the attempt to terrorize is not successful, but the havoc and the deaths wrought are all too real.

In Hama, the villages along Jabal Shahshabo continue to be pounded ,

In Damascus Suburbs, pro-Assad militias continue to perpetrate their massacres in Eastern Ghoutah region – the strip of forest and farmlands to the East of Damascus City. The latest massacre took place in Deir Al-Asafeer Nearby Harasta is pounded

In Lattakia Province, local fighters are trying to defend against the ethnic cleansing of the last remaining Sunni enclaves in the mountain facing the coasts where the population is made up of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. On July 8, local fighters killed 20 pro-Assad militias in an ambush  

Russia’s changing position on Syria