No more masks. No more fig-leafs. With Alawite militias now coming out in the open calling for “cleansing” and “liberating” their areas of Sunnis with the support of established religious figures in their community, the sectarian nature of the Assad regime and the ongoing crackdown can no longer be denied. What we have now in Syria is de facto and de jure a genocidal venture. Indeed, there are many Alawite figures who oppose it, and that gives us some hope for the possibility of intercommunal reconciliation down the road, but for now, we have to see realities for what they are. It’s time we removed the blindfold and admitted to ourselves that we are once again allowing genocide to take place, as we watch. And by the way, someone should tell Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lavrov that those already committed to perpetrating genocide are interested in politics only inasmuch as they can be used as cover for their crimes. The Russians don’t seem to have any compunction about being partners in this particular crime. The question is: how does Obama feel?
The Genocidal Truth
Lest we forget, this is the reality of what is happening in Syria today: genocide. The images below are the villages of Byada and Raas Al-Nabea in Banyas.
More information on the current Alawite militias carrying out the ethnic cleansing campaign in Banyas has also surfaced.
The group spearheading the effort is called the Syrian Resistance and is headed by one Mihrac Ural (https://www.facebook.com/mihrac.ural.1?fref=ts), AKA Al-Kayyal (the weigher) and also Ali Kayyali, the fellow we recently saw in a leaked video (http://youtu.be/y0P4rhRjR9Icalling for ethnic cleansing as part of a “cleanse and liberate” approach to consolidate Alawite hold on the coastal regions in Syria.
Mihrac is the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Iskandarone, an organization created by the late Hafiz Al-Assad to “liberate” and retrieve the Hatay region from Turkey. The movement was nothing more than a propaganda stunt really and was rendered obsolete during the rapprochement with Turkey under Bashar Al-Assad. But the growing rift between the two sides since the onset of the revolution breathed a new life into the movement and transformed into a fanatical Alawite militia fighting to maintain Assad rule and seeking to cultivate support for his regime among the Alawite community in Hatay. Mihrac himself is a communist, but religious Alawite figures such as Sheikh Mouaffac Ghazal among others are also playing their part in the new movement.
In this video from March 2013, we can see Mihrac and his people introduce themselves defiantly at a time when their campaign was being planned. Their message is simple: we are poor, we are not receiving military or financial support from anyone, and we do what we do because we believe in the cause (link from a Youtube channel affiliated with the group) http://youtu.be/yWiA7KqacNk (this is another link to the view from a rebel YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/dXOGqT3gB3Y) Of course, pro-Assad militias re supported logistically and financially by the Assad regime.
In this video, we see Mihrac speaking at a funeral of a local militiaman following the massacre in Al-Bayda promising to fight on against the terrorists of the Empty Quarter (reference to Saudi Arabia support to rebels) under the leadership of Bashar Al-Assad http://youtu.be/SJeLuV1j2GE
This is an older video of Mihrac (January 2013) with English subtitles http://youtu.be/PwnQ4-D2cOQ
Another leaked video from Banyas shows Alawite militias abusing and transporting the corpse of a captive to unknown whereabouts http://youtu.be/IyOE_BngaS8
Stupefied? Dumb? Or Duplicitous?
Carla Del Ponte says that she “was a little bit stupefied by the first indication of the use of nerve gas by the opposition" For their parts Syrians were stupefied by her previous fuckups as a prosecutor. Meanwhile, the White House makes clear that “Assad likely behind chemical arms use,” and Peter Bergen considers “Al Qaeda's track record with chemical weapons” in Iraq, specifically with chlorine gas. The problem with this analysis is that people who have been hit by chemical weapons attack in Syria are rebels and their host communities.
The Violations Documentation Center has issued this report on use of chemical weapons by the regime in April 2013 in Damascus City! So, the story regarding use of chemical weapons in Syria at this stage is that they are being used methodically by the regime even in the country’s capital.
Rebels in Qusair, Homs Province, claim that their city was targeted with napalm type bombs during aerial raid. They show this man as a proof http://youtu.be/p9qyNvI6uIA this is the bomb that was dropped on town and caused the injuries http://youtu.be/a3XPawgE1oA
Rebels in Deir Ezzor blow up a research center used as loyalist headquarters by pro-Assad militias inside the military airport http://youtu.be/11sqb8-WU24 But the pounding of the city with heavy artillery continues http://youtu.be/lbIIGpM-U-0 , http://youtu.be/orbO-U80yzA
The aftermath of a rebel attack on a loyalist convoy in Damascus Suburbs http://youtu.be/3MXj0pAkico
Pro-Assad militias execute an Egyptian prisoner who was fighting for the rebels in Eastern Ghoutah, Damascus Suburbs http://youtu.be/0OpuRS_eh44
On the other hand, rebels for the most part still treat the captured and wounded pro-regime soldiers with some decency, not matter how reluctantly. This video is from Daraa http://youtu.be/6MHk3A2h1cg Rebels are under constant pressure from activists in their midst to behave according to legal norms, and oftentimes, this pressure works, albeit violations among rebels are mounting. Pro-Assad militias on the other hand operate under the opposite pressures: they are meant to misbehave torture, loot and kill.
Rebel strongholds in Damascus City continue to be pounded: Jobar http://youtu.be/60jyJ9iNnj0 , http://youtu.be/S2lNMY2Y-nM Zamalka http://youtu.be/-JSL7AaCGnc
To the West, the pounding of Moadamiyeh Suburb continues http://youtu.be/5XzevFVdPp4 , http://youtu.be/1-J_9h230jM