As Assad assumes more direct command of day-to-day operations, his responsibility for the crimes perpetrated by his militias becomes more established, and his future performance at the International Criminal Court more guaranteed.
The first female Alawite defector comes out, Col. Zubaidah Al-Miqi, originally from the Golan Heights in South Syria http://youtu.be/Kf8uW3goIaI in her statement, Col. Al-Miqi calls on female recruits and on Alawite officers to follow her lead, warning ongoing regime attempt to transform its crisis conflict into a sectarian conflict. Sectarianism will destroy the homeland, she said, while the revolution came to assert the values of freedom and citizenship. A shorter version of the statement had led to allegations that Col. Al-Miqi was kidnapped and forced to make these statement in spite of her. This full version, however, seems to indicate that the defection is quite genuine.
The divide between secularists and Islamists in some rebel communities is increasing, this video from the town of Qusayr, Homs Province, along the borders with Lebanon, is currently making rounds on the internet and generating some heated debates. More importantly though, it tells of problems to come in so many parts of the country as extremist Islamist groups take control of certain communities. The clip shows the imam, Abdussalam Harba, preaching at a local mosque and saying that those who consume alcohol should have their throats slashed. More importantly, he is also calling on civilian rebel leaders to retain control of their groups and refuse the authority of defected military officers http://youtu.be/c2NmqvxmcGE
However, it is important to note that people’s reaction to the speech was very muted, and obviously, the man came in town with military escorts, and seem to have been allowed to deliver his sermon by local rebels because he brought some supplies and funds for them. This is how extremists are trying to gain a foothold in the country, and lack of support from western powers is creating this vacuum and allowing this to take place. The video generated angry reactions on the net, the issue of personal liberties was at the heart of it.
The pounding of recently liberated Ma’arrat Al-Nouman, Idlib Province continues http://youtu.be/YLru2tZxm-U MIGs takes part in the pounding http://youtu.be/Ld6w1EK-wq0 Meanwhile, the town of Armanaz, also in Idlib Province, is pounded by helicopter gunships http://youtu.be/ck3eX07-St4
In Aleppo Province, MIGs took part in pounding of the town of Atareb http://youtu.be/J3YfbL7MzmI In Aleppo City, pounding left many dead in Sha’aar Neighborhood http://youtu.be/uLAHscTp4DU
Children among today’s martyrs in Damascus Province: Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/c3Oo3mIs1jY , http://youtu.be/N-SlnmI7bXk Martyrs from nearby Deir Asafeer http://youtu.be/hcmbMRVdId8