Assad is scheduled to make a new speech on Sunday, and while many experts expect some dramatic announcement to be made, I expect a litany of accusations, foolish assertions and defiance. Assad will likely try to make himself a hero of the resistance fighting against unbelievable odds, and will then make some announcements that will pave the way for violent crackdown in Damascus, Homs and elsewhere.
Pro-Assad Alawite militias are carrying out a massive ethnic cleansing campaign in the villages of the Homs countryside, especially in the villages around Homs City and the town of Rastan. This video shows some of the women and children who were forced out of the village of Tissneen, http://youtu.be/sKd0rFiOlfU The men, including the teenage boys, were killed. Many of the inhabitants are Turkmen. Alawite families were safely evacuated by pro-Assad militias to make room for their attack. But it took rebel intervention to secure the release of Sunni inhabitants, or at least the women and children http://youtu.be/V5wTgIH5TNs , http://youtu.be/S7Ex5lRmBn8
Meanwhile, in the city of Homs itself, clashes between loyalists and rebels are increasing http://youtu.be/yTduT62-gYI Rebels try to take down a lo flying helicopter http://youtu.be/XC427_UnT7c
Leaked video: Pro-Assad Alawite militias in action. This clip was taken from the Facebook page of an Assad supporter, it shows the activities of pro-Assad militias in Homs City. The sound track is a religious Shiite song praising Imam Ali, who in Alawite doctrine is an incarnation of God. This doctrine among others is one of those elements that distinguish Alawites from other Shiite groups. To many Alawites, this has indeed become a holy war against the Sunnis. It is against this development that the activities of Jabhat Al-Nusra and the increasing sectarianism among the rebels have to be understood. From the beginning of the revolution, Assad and his supporters have done all they can to use sectarianism as their rallying cry for Alawites, and they have indeed been quite successful. By leaking videos showing Alawites militias in action committing atrocities, abusing their prisoners and terrorizing the local population, it was only a matter of time before Sunnis produced their own sectarian militias. Still, it took almost a year before this development was consolidated, and almost 18 months, before Jabhat Al-Nusra became the go-to group among Sunni rebels. Many people forget, by the Treasury Department have designated both the pro-Assad militias as well as Jabhat Al-Nusra as terrorist organizations http://youtu.be/McDE4ZSf3PQ This video shows pro-Assad militias cutting off the genitals of their dead prisoners http://youtu.be/qyYS4iDN_dA As for this, it documents the continued use of scuds against rebel positions http://youtu.be/ylXI9Cl46YU
In Bosra Al-Sham, Daraa, a member of Jabhat Al-Nusra carries out a suicide attack against a pro-Assad outpost leaving 60 dead http://youtu.be/Jsxf4xoOnh8
This video from Eastern Ghoutah, Damascus, is a before and after montage: the first part is taken from the mobile phone of a loyalist solider made before an attack on his outpost, the second part is a clip made by rebels showing how they imprisoned some of the same soldiers hours later when they took control of the outpost http://youtu.be/e-HzJRdVG-0
Local activists in Qaboun, Damascus City, find 5 unidentified bodies that were burnt and left in their neighborhoods by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/FlnNZ03z6E0
In Aleppo, rebels shell the military Airport at Managh http://youtu.be/EVmRHgKyE_c , http://youtu.be/J38hckoFy6Y , http://youtu.be/RTmmSwTCTt4