Monday, July 16, 2012

No Mincing Words: It’s Ethnic Cleansing!

It’s a massacre. No, it’s a firefight. They used helicopter gunships. No, they didn’t… But the real story is simple and the patterns are clear: it’s ethnic cleansing and it’s taking place over a wide swath of territory in central Syria. Tanks, heavy artillery and helicopter gunships are being used, while the intended victims have only light weapons and limited munitions at their disposal as they try to resist. But for those who still doubt that it’s all about ethnic cleansing. Perhaps this report and the attached map produced by BBC mapping the major instances of violence since the beginning of the Revolution can help change their perspective. Even the Arab League chief now agrees that ethnic cleansing is taking place in Syria.   

Sunday July 15, 2012

Today’s Death toll:  81. The Breakdown: 18 in Damascus, 16 in Homs, 15 in Deir Ezzor, 10 in Aleppo, 7 in Idilb, 5 in Daraa, 3 in Hama, 3 IN Hassakeh, 1 in Suweida and 1 in Quneitrah.


New Account of Syria Killings New evidence on last week's killings in a village in central Syria suggests the bloodshed followed a raid by government forces to arrest male rebels, rather than a deliberate massacre of around 200 civilians as some Syrian opposition leaders and their Western allies first reported.
Syrian townspeople describe government shelling Residents of Treimseh tell U.N. investigators that their town was shelled and suspected rebels were apparently executed, contradicting the official account.
Syria crisis: What happened in Tremseh? • UN: evidence points to battle between fighters and troops • Locals: Troops "shot at anything moving" • Government: No heavy weaponry was used • Red Cross: This is now a civil war

Op-Eds & Special Reports

Comment: If anyone still doubts that ethnic cleansing is taking place in Syria, check out this report by BBC and the map included showing patterns of the major incidents that took place since the beginning of the revolution: Syria: The violence mapped

If people are fighting back to defend themselves, then it’s a firefight not a massacre and the victims will have brought it upon themselves by bringing light weapons to a showdown featuring tanks, heavy artillery and helicopter gunships.

If people fight back, then it’s a civil war. But if they don’t fight back, then they will likely be killed, in which case they can have the world’s sympathy and retain the moral high ground.

I say: the moral high ground be damned! Fight back.

Video Highlights

Rastan, Homs Province: A family is trapped under the rubble of their home, 5 children die Meanwhile, another member of the Tlass family, Bashar Tlass, a major from the 4th Division, announces his defection But the pounding continues , From the sky

Salqeen, Idlib Province: local resistance use a car bomb to blow up a checkpoint from which tanks keep pounding their town Elsewhere in town, the resistance destroy a tank and clash with loyalist militias The resistance patrol the streets of the city Rescuing wounded But other parts of town still come until sporadic pounding

Tanks laying siege to Treimseh, Hama, as UN monitors pay another visit

Old Homs: some snipers are revolutionaries, and their targets are pro-Assad troops patrolling the relics that used to be their neighborhoods It’s this kind of incidents that make the situation in Syria a civil war, and that calls for launching a major peacekeeping operation.

A video from the battle in Damascus City: Tadamon Shortly after, the battle intensifies as the tanks move in an the suburb is pounded The pounding leaves several buildings on fire Black smoke could be seen rising above the neighborhood from downtown Damascus ,

People in nearby Daf Al-Shawk come under fire when they rally in support of Tadamon Clashes last until the evening In Qadam, locals clash with pro-Assad militias and burn tires in the streets  Locals in nearby Yarmouk Camp close their shops and hurry home in panic that the pounding might touch their neighborhood as well Tanks patrol the nearby suburb of Saqba

In Khalid Bin Al-Walid Street in downtown Damascus, young activists interrupted traffic by burning tires in protest of the poudnding of Tadamon

In Marei, Aleppo, local resistance tests an anti-aircraft battery that they managed to acquire after a raid on a local checkpoint Similar batteries are often used to pound the city. In fact, the city came under such pounding today

Elsewhere in Aleppo Province, the local resistance takes control of a loyalist position The clashes Firing at the checkpoint from nearby buildings ,

The pounding of Al-Akrad Mountain region in Lattakia Province, continues: Al-Ghanimah

The pounding of Al-Qusayr, Homs Province, continues The pounding of Talbisseh continues

The pounding of Old Homs continues: Jobar Jouret Al-Shayah

Daraa City continues to come under sporadic pounding ,

Elsewhere in Daraa Province, members of local resistance are training themselves In Al-Jizeh, the local resistance clash with pro-Assad militias

In Deir Ezzor City, the pounding is beginning to resemble what is taking place in Old Homs: Al-Oummal , , Rasafeh Tanks patrol and pound their way into neighborhoods

In Arba’een Neighborhood, Hama City: pro-Assad militias patrolling the neighborhood But soon the tanks is targeted by local resistance