Syrian Revolution Digest – Wednesday 20 June 2012



Updates from the Road (2)!

Syrian Revolution Digest – Tuesday 19 June 2012



Updates from the Road (1)

Russia will not be part of the solution in Syria. Yemeni-style scenarios are unlikely. Obama needs to hit the reset button again. There is little time left to save a country and a region from a meltdown.

Tuesday June 19, 2012


Op-Eds & Special Reports

Sectarian realities in Homs

USA Politics and Syria

On the personal front

Getting Serious on Syria: my participation in a panel at the American Enterprise Institute where the keynote speaker was Senator McCain: Excerpt from my intervention, the whole event.

More fall-outs from our April trip to Kosovo: The Pristina-Damascus Connection

Over the next 5-7 days, I will be taking part in a series of activities that will take up most of my time and might, therefore, be unable to update the blog as regularly and extensively as I want. But I will be back in full force soon.

Syrian Network for Human Rights: Documenting the Widespread Massacres

In the past few weeks the number of massacres taking place around Syria drastically increased.  The Syrian Network for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies, have documented a number of them.  Below is their summarized reports for the past four massacres; beginning with the most recent.

Douma | 16 June 2012

The Syrian regime’s combat forces launched a fierce and concentrated attack on the city of Douma, located to the east of the capital Damascus. The residents came under continual mortar shelling by the forces surrounding the city; additionally there was intense shelling originating from the vehicles administration headquarters, which is located in the neighbouring city of Harasta. The shelling went through the night until dawn; it stopped around 3:00 am.

Artillery shelling was concentrated on residential quarters located behind the mosques of Haseeba and Al-Agha. Eight people, including three women, were killed at the onset, when shelling targeted a residential building. This was a clear indication that shelling was random with the intent of killing for the sake of killing. This building, the first target, is located between the Great Mosque and Haseeba Mosque and the area is one of the most densely populated quarters of the city.

We were not able to access the inflicted area to provide assistance due to the full siege and the Syrian government’s refusal to give access to any Human Rights or relief organization to work on the Syrian territories.  By contacting locals and victims’ relatives, we were able to confirm eight names of the victims who fell to the shelling and documented at least 40 wounded, including four people with very critical injuries.

There is a severe shortage of medical necessities because the Syrian government hinders the transport of the wounded and the injured to hospitals, so they are treated in houses that lack real medical supplies or preparation facilities.

Saqba | 16 June 2012

The Syrian regime forces moved from Douma to Saqba on this same day.  Upon entering the city, which is located east of Damascus, they quickly took control and began to instill terror in the residents.  Tanks, armoured vehicles and infantry advanced from the south (from the Kafr Batana region), the north (from the Hamouriya direction), the west (from the Hazza direction), and the east (from the Jesreen direction). This entry in the city was followed by raid campaigns, around a square known as Al-Jameiya, while other combat troops moved to the secondary school street, and remaining troops moved to the northern area of Al-Jouzeh.

One of the tanks, positioned in the city centre, fired a shell on a residential building; this caused severe damage in the building and several injuries, including a child who received an injury to the eye.  Dozens of residents were arrested. We were able to identify a few of them from the Al-Khawaja family. Following this, troops moved to the Al-Mahfara area, to the west of the city, where they looted commercial shops.

The horrendous massacre harvested the lives of 19 civilians including a woman and a child. We have been able to contact residents to confirm and document the names of victims. To add insult to injury, some of the victims were slaughtered by knives in a revengeful, sadist fashion that was reminiscent of the Dark Ages and reflected a mindset of the utmost savagery.

Maarat Al-Numan | 10 June 2012

 During the night, the Syrian regime’s army forces shelled the city of Maarat al-Numan with many mortar shells, which are internationally considered to be inaccurate.  This mortar shelling is hard evidence, and a clear indicator, that the Syrian regime does not discriminate between the killing of a child, a woman or a young man. This reality is readily apparent on the ground as a high number of children and women are killed.

The preliminary death toll stands at thirteen victims.  The victims’ body parts were scattered in the streets following the attack.  More than 90 people were wounded, 25 of whom suffer from severe and critical injuries. As usual, the Syrian regime has cut off all means of communications and prevented doctors from treating the wounded or transporting them to safer zones where medical care necessities are available.  Many houses and shops were damaged from the attack as well.

Dar’aa | 9 June 2012

The Syrian regime’s army and security forces launched a fierce attack on the city using mortars, which the international community considers to be random inaccurate projectile, and heavy machineguns. Those shells hit the houses of:

Suliaman Shihadeh Aba Zeed, Adnan Dyab Aba Zeed, Ibrahim Mifleh Aba Zeed, Muhammad Kheir Aba Zeed, Yusuf Aba Zeed, Abu Nasir Abu Al-Qayasin al-Bajabja neighbourhood

A shell fell on al-Dallou family house killing 7 members of the family and burning down the house.  Residents recovered the bodies of Mansour Rizq Aba Zeed, Rita Rizq Aba Zeed and Rizq Hasan Shihada from under the rubble.

The regime’s army snipers, stationed at the roof of the national hospital, targeted citizens who came to donate blood following the attack.  The regime’s army checkpoint, stationed at Al-Sad road, targeted a civilian car that was transporting the wounded to the makeshift hospital, killing the volunteer in the process.


For further information, please visit the website listed below:

Syrian Network for Human Rights 

Syrian Revolution Digest – Sunday 17 June 2012



Obama’s Legacy!

In the first major battle of Cold War II, Russia and its allies (the Assad regime, China, Iran, Belarus, Venezuela, etc.) are winning, so far. Forget about killing Bin Laden and ousting Qaddafi, if Obama loses Syria, that and the regional chaos that will ensue will be what he is remembered for. If Obama’s strategy is to wait for November, the battle might just be lost by then, and his legacy set in blood and stone.

Sunday June 17, 2012

Death tolls: 60. The Breakdown: 17 in Homs, 18 in Damascus (15 in Suburbs and 3 in City), 11 in Hama, 5 in Deir Ezzor, 5 in Daraa, 4 in Aleppo.


Associated Press journalist wounded in Syria

Op-Eds & Special Reports

Group of Tel Aviv Arabs post Anti-Assad signs in Nazareth: But Israeli Arabs remain deeply split over events in Syria.

The rebels risked a great deal in allowing journalists to embed with them, but they needed to get their message out, not through the opposition “leaders” in London, and in answer to the regime’s version of events. Commander al Sheikh told Shelton, “We want the people of the world to understand us as people, to see our revolution from a human prospective. The Syrian people cannot turn back. We must fight until victory.”

A great roundup by Rhonda Parker, with reference to the Digest and a personal interview


In an interview published yesterday by American PBS Newshour, self-proclaiming Alawite “Shabiha active member” Abu Jaafar, said he is “ready to kill women and children to defend his friends, family and president.” “Sunni women are giving birth to babies who will fight us in years to come, so we have the right to fight anyone who can hurt us in the future,” said the Alawite militiaman, a member of the ancient offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the powerbase of his regime belong.

Syrian dissident and pro-democracy activist in exile, Ammar Abdulhamid, has been calling for more active international intervention in Syria, and added another addendum in his Syrian Revolution Digest Syria report last night.

Stated Abdulhamid, “I wouldn’t ask for intervention had it not been a reality of our lives already, had Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Belarus and Venezuela not chosen to intervene from the onset in our affairs, siding with the Assads, arming them to the teeth, helping circumvent sanctions, (and) shielding them from accountability. Things need to be made equal. We need to be given a fighting chance. Assad is conducting a war of attrition against the rebels, while carving out his own personal fiefdom, hedging his bets. We only have one bet: staying the course, come what may.

Meanwhile, in an opinion piece for A&E the National had the soul-searching title, “When tanks crush children, Syrians must ask: who are we?”

The piece documents activists who feel there is a military strategy behind the madness and civilian carnage – including the brutal massacres and targeting of children.

“By outsourcing the dirty work to local militias, the regime distanced itself from the monstrosity of the crimes while deceptively placing the perpetrators within the blurry category of ‘armed gangs,’ said one hama activist.

Another activist from Homs said: “This is what they want to see: we are 20 massacres away from an opposition-free Syrian coast.”

Abdulhamid also stated in an email interview late tonight that he didn’t feel the Free Syrian Army had the time or resources to take civilian hostages, as some pro-Assad media have been alleging in regards to the Christian and Sunni civilians trapped in Homs.

“Basically, at this stage, the few local fighters in Homs City are locked in a fight for survival against pro-Assad militias, they do not have the time or the capacity to take hostages, and the regime does not care about the well-being of hostages anyway. Having hostages – even Alawites – will not stop pro-Assad militias, who, for months now, have been bombing both Sunnis and Christian neighborhoods, destroying mosques and churches, without any hesitation.”

Said Abdulhamid, “The truth of what is happening in Syria is quite simple: Assad and his militias are trying to re-subjugate their opponents using all means at their disposal, including resorting to ethnic cleansing along the coast and in central Syria in preparation for a possible breakup of the country.”

He also stated that Assad and his supporters realize “they have lost control of major swathes of the country, and that their opponents are committed to staying the course until Assad is brought down.”

 For this reason, Abdulhamid said, “…They are carving out a territory that will remain, by virtue of its ethnic makeup, completely loyal to Assad, and so it can serve as a base that will keep the Assads as active players in the regional scene even after the state falls apart.”

He added, “With the help of Russia and Iran, Assad is creating a win-win scenario for himself: reestablishing control over all the country, or becoming the undisputed leader of a critical chunk of it that might be declared as an independent state at a certain point in the future.”

Video Highlights

Qudsaya, West Damascus: the impact of shelling by pro-Assad militias , Buildings catch fire

Zabadani, West Damascus: playing cat-and-mouth with snipers

Douma, East Damascus: buildings catch fire due to shelling Martyrs The pounding resumes at night

Dmeir, East Damascus: locals leaving the town at night to escape the shelling

Rastan, Homs: a child martyr Martyrs The cemetery is pounded even as people try to bury their dead The pounding continues

Houla, Homs: pro-Assad militias set houses on fire At night, the pounding resumes

Syrian Revolution Digest – Friday 15 June 2012



Hedging Bets!

I wouldn’t ask for intervention had it not been a reality of our lives already, had Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Belarus and Venezuela not chosen to intervene from the onset in our affairs, siding with the Assads, arming them to the teeth, helping circumvent sanctions, shielding them from accountability. Things need to be made equal. We need to be given a fighting chance. Assad is conducting a war of attrition against the rebels, while carving out his own personal fiefdom, hedging his bets. We only have one bet: staying the course, come what may.

Friday June 15, 2012

Death tolls: 48. The Breakdown: 14 in Damascus City and Suburbs (most in Douma), 9 in Homs, 10 in Daraa, 6 in Deir Ezzor, 6 in Aleppo, 2 in Idlib, and in Raqqah.


Mr. Isaykin, a powerful figure in Russia’s military industry, openly discussed the weapons being shipped to Syria: the Pantsyr-S1, a radar-guided missile and artillery system capable of hitting warplanes at altitudes well above those typically flown during bombing sorties, and up to 12 miles away; Buk-M2 antiaircraft missiles, capable of striking airplanes at even higher altitudes, up to 82,000 feet, and at longer ranges; and land-based Bastion antiship missiles that can fire at targets 180 miles from the coast.

My comment: I guess Assad will have to make do with Russian caviar just he is doing with Russian tanks.

Op-Eds & Special Reports

Syria: Sexual Assault in Detention Security Forces Also Attacked Women and Girls in Raids on Homes.

Syria: Shabiha Militia Member Tells It Like It Is An active member of Syria’s feared shabiha militia says he is in a “win or die” fight for his president (and a little bit of cash).

Houla Again

Germany’s FAZ, its main source, Mother Agnes, and John Rosenthal from the National Review Online are sticking to their story that the Houla Massacre was perpetrated by jihadists against Alawite inhabitants. But neither FAZ, nor Mother Agnes nor Rosenthal offer any new proof to back their claims. They simply stick to their story that unidentified sources from the opposition and inhabitants from the village of Kafar Laha were behind the revelation.

Bear in mind here that even the Assad regime does not make or endorse this claim. Bear in mind as well that no one tried to explain why and how Sunni rebels were allowed to bury the bodies of their alleged Alawite victims in open daylight in shallow mass graves while documenting the entire event via YouTube, and while pro-Assad checkpoints were all over the place. Moreover, we have not heard any similar assertions from any of the Alawite communities in the area despite the regime’s access to them.

So, why is it that we can always provide videos and often eyewitnesses to back our stories, while the regime and its supporters, and whoever choose to believe them, for whatever reason, have only their assertions and their unidentified and unidentifiable sources? They certainly have more resources than we do to document their “suffering.” And locals who are sympathetic to the regime have cameras and smartphones as well, and open access to the Internet. How come, then, we are always left having to take their words and only their words for it?

Pointing out that an eyewitness said that people with long beards and shaved heads were the ones who committed this massacre is evidence of nothing in itself: because this is how many Shabbiha members (pro-Assad militias) look like.

Telling us that 80,000 Christians were forced to leave Homs City, well, so did 500,000 Sunnis. The question is why? Mother Agnes and the regime, and she is an unabashed supporter of the regime of course, want us to believe that this is the work of Sunni extremists and Jihadi elements. The evidence we have, not only the videos and testimonies offered by local activists, but those offered by foreign journalist as well, suggest that the intensive indiscriminate pounding of residential neighborhoods by pro-Assad troops and militias did in fact pave the way to this.

Who do you want to believe? Your eyes? Your people? Or the assertions of killers and their supporters? Don’t tell me Mother Agnes is a nun, I know nuns can be wonderful, Sisters Danielle and Jordanie, the nuns from the private school I briefly attended in Lebanon in my childhood, definitely were: cruel but wonderful. On the other hand, I know enough history and watch enough news to know that the habit and the cloth are not shields against prejudice and avarice. So, nun or not, the good old mother needs to offer proof other than her say so to back her stories, and it better be damn convincing. Because knowing Mother Agnes, and yes, I do know Mother Agnes, I know very well that she is no Mother Teresa, or an Angel or Mercy, or a good preacher or practitioner of Christian love.

But to each his source.

Syrian Revolution Digest – Wednesday 14 June 2012



The Revolutionary Imperative!

When people demonstrated peacefully, they were shot it by snipers and attacked with tanks, when they finally began fighting back, they were pounded by heavy artillery and helicopters, when armed fighters withdrew from towns and cities after they ran out of ammunition, pro-Assad militias went in and perpetrated massacres, and yet, and yet, somehow, the resistance continues, and the revolution spreads. With light weapons, and little help from outside, the Syrian popular resistance is taking on a criminal consortium that stretches from Russia and China to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. Add in Venezuela and Belarus for good measure. We don’t plan on being defeated, and we’re no longer waiting for help. While geopolitical imperatives continue to trump the oral ones in policy circles around the world, the only thing that counts for us is staying the course, bitter be the end or sweet. Backing down is a breaking of our spirit, something we cannot live with anymore. We’ve been there, we’ve done that, and it didn’t feel right. So we rebelled. And that’s that.

Thursday June 14, 2012

Death tolls: 78. The Breakdown: 28 in Damascus, 19 in Homs, 13 in Daraa, 5 in Lattakia, 4 in Deir Ezzor, 2 in each of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Hassakeh, and 1 in Raqqah.

9 of the dead in Damascus were executed in the town of Hammourieh by pro-Assad militias. Some were shot, others had their throats slit , , ,

The town of Anadan in Aleppo is undergoing intense pounding , Pro-Assad militias put fire to the crops

In Daraa Province, 5 were killed in the pounding the town of Heet and many were injured in the pounding of the town of Nasseef near the border with Jordan. The Martyrs of Heet , Impromptu funeral

Meanwhile, Jordanian authorities continue to deny entry through its airport to Syrians trying to get to Amman. Refugees in Jordanian camps complain of restrictions on their movement, and of poor living conditions.


‘Stench of dead bodies’ in Syria’s al Haffe (My Comment: No bodies were found, because they were all taken by pro-Assad militias to hid traces of their crime. We will not know the full extent of the massacre that took place for a while to come.)

The overnight barrage from nearby hills followed the withdrawal of hundreds of troops backed by tanks that had entered the city on Wednesday to root out rebels, the sources said. About 200 people were wounded in the shelling, they said.

Op-Eds & Special Reports

The creation of safe havens will save civilian lives and reduce the influence of Islamists in the Syrian opposition. It will show the Syrian elite that the Assad regime is finished. And it will end Putin’s perverse free ride.

Syrian opposition activists tell me that the Russian Embassy in Washington has scheduled several meetings with different factions of the external opposition. “The Russians offer power-sharing with Assad,” says a leading Syrian human-rights and pro-democracy activist, Ammar Abdulhamid. “They want to push the opposition to talk to the regime.” Abdulhamid said Russian Embassy officials “told opposition activists: ‘The Americans won’t help you. You had better come to us.’ “Syrian activists regard the Russian proposals as a mere face-saver for Assad. Indeed, the Kremlin firmly believes the Assad regime can survive the current upheavals.

Syrian oppositionist Ammar Abdul- Hamid and the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, for example, first detailed the use of attack helicopters against civilian protesters in Syria on June 15, 2011.

In Syria, life goes on despite violence (A report on daily life in Al-Qusayr, Homs Province)

Sign this petition by Amnesty International: “Stop the Assault on Syria’s Civilians

Videos from my participation at “From glasnost to the Arab Spring: the moral foundation of anti-authoritarian revolutions,” an 1-day conference organized by the American Enterprise Institute, on June 13, 2012 Unity of Expectations but not Humiliation Entire Panel

Statement from the People of Houla

We write this letter in the name of the residents of the four cities of Houla (Taldo, Kafarlaha, Taldahab, al-Tiba al-Gharbiya), in response to a disgusting slur published in the weekend in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung German newspaper, which shamefully presented lies as facts in the report written by reporter Rainer Hermann and published on June 7, 2012. The report cast the 108 people who died here at the hands of the regime as conspirators instead of victims.  In almost four weeks since this dreadful act of savagery was brought to our village, we have been contacted by numerous reporters from many countries, all of whom have been in search of the truth. None of us recall being contacted by a German or non-German reporter that works for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. We most certainly have not been contacted by Rainer Hermann or any representative of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The least that can be said about the claims of the newspaper that the families killed were Alawite and that the FSA is responsible for the massacre, is that they are ridiculous. Everyone who is involved with the Syrian issue knows that the four cities of Houla are exclusively Sunni, and all the families who lost members to this slaughter are identifiably Sunni.

To anyone foolish enough to doubt this we invite you to look at the Sunni burial rituals, which are there for all to see on videos posted on YouTube.

The FSA is an essential part of Houla. They are our brothers, fathers, uncles and sons. Any reporter suggesting that they are in fact the villains in this plot are woefully blind or lying.

To conclude we say without reservation that this reporter spoke to no one from Houla before compiling his disgusting report from Damascus. If he has spoken to anyone at all it is stooges put up by the regime in an attempt to deceive. Despite the renewed anguish that this reporter has caused our community and the shame he has brought to himself and his newspaper, we invite him to come to our village to interview survivors and meet the community he has defamed. We guarantee him protection from justifiably angry residents here but wonder whether he first has the courage to slip from the grip of his masters in Damascus.

Video Highlights

It should be borne in mind that the peaceful pro-democracy rallies continue throughout the country, despite my inability to keep reporting them.

Deir Ezzor City: funeral

Aleppo CityBoustan Al-Qasr Sukkari

AleppoManbij Protesters come under fire

DaraaDaraa City (funeral)

Homs CityWa’er (funeral)

Syrian Network for Human Rights: Violations Report 14 June 2012


Al-Houla | Homs

A clip showing the body of a man who was tortured to death by regime forces.

Homs | Al-Rasten

After regime forces besiege a village for four days with shelling, a make-shift hospital is full of the victims and wounded, most of them women and children. 

Lattakia | Hama

Pro-government Shabeeha militias stop a UN international observer’s car to prevent the workers inside from reaching Al-Hiffeh and documenting the crimes and abuses being perpetrated for the fourth day in a row. 



78 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Thursday, 14 June 2012.

Damascus & Rural Damascus: 27
Homs: 19
Dar’aa: 13
Lattakia: 4
Deir Ezzor: 4
Aleppo: 3
Idleb: 2
Hama: 2
Al-Hasakah: 1
Raqqa: 1

74 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Wednesday, 13 June 2012.

Homs: 26
Deir Ezzor: 13
Dar’aa: 8
Idleb: 7
Latakia: 4
Aleppo: 2
Damascus and Rural Damascus: 2
Hama: 10
Raqqa: 1
Qunaitera: 1

65 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Tuesday, 12 June 2012.

Homs: 20
Aleppo: 15
Latakia: 8
Damascus & Rural Damascus: 6
Idleb: 5
Deir Ezzor: 3
Hama: 3
Daraa: 2
Qunaitera: 1

91 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Monday, 11 June 2012.

Idleb: 34
Damascus & Rural Damascus: 15
Homs: 14
Deir Ezzor: 14
Hama: 5
Aleppo: 4
Latakia: 3
Daraa: 2

66 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Sunday, 10 June 2012.

Homs: 26
Latakia: 9
Idlib: 14
Aleppo: 5
Damascus: 6
Daraa: 5
Al-Hasaka: 1


For further information, please see:

Syrian Network for Human Rights – Violations and Casualty Reports  – 10–14 June 2012



Syrian Revolution Digest – Wednesday 13 June 2012



Assad the Warlord!

A dismal failure as president, Assad is emerging as an accomplished warlord. After all, all it takes is a willingness to kill and destroy with an air of nonchalant.

Wednesday June 13, 2012

Death tolls: Tuesday 65. Wednesday 77 (23 in Homs, 12 in Hama, 12 in Daraa, 10 in Deir Ezzor, 9 in Idlib, 7 in Aleppo, 2 in Lattakia, 1 in Raqqah, 1 in Daamscus Suburbs).

On Tuesday, most local resistance fighters withdrew from the besieged town of Haffeh, Lattakia Province, having run out of ammunition. But the situation was still tense on Wednesday despite reports that loyalist troops and militias have retaken villages surrounding the town.

In Deir Ezzor City, war conditions continue to prevail. Clashes between the local resistance and pro-Assad militias continue But reports from local activists indicate that defections are increasing, so are and casualties among loyalists. The massacre caused by the shelling of a rally on Monday leaving over 50 dead, was “avenged” on Wednesday, when attacks by local fighters left over 60 loyalist troops dead and 17 tanks destroyed Loyalists, however, continue to pound the city with heavy artillery and helicopters , .

Pounding of Rural Aleppo, Old Homs neighborhoods, Rastan, Qusayr, Talbisseh on Rural Homs, and Daraa communities, and Damascene suburbs continues. Helicopters are now taking over from tanks as the main weapons for attacking specific targets in restive communities.


Op-Eds & Special Reports

Though rebels have also been found to have kidnapped, tortured and killed Syrians fighting for the government or backing it, the vast majority of abuses were carried out by Syrian government forces and allied militias, Amnesty International said, in a widespread and systematic campaign against civilians.

Accurate reporting in Syria is difficult, and has been made more so by the widespread violence. And despite the existence of legitimate data furnished by Syrian citizens, there is a cottage industry of nonsensical reports presented specifically to alter the perceptions of observers. Autocratic regimes retain their own propagandists and have a cordon of “useful idiots” disseminating the former’s data for their own reasons; Syria is no different. Damascus has its “Baghdad Bobs”; they’ve just been taken more seriously. As the West sits on its hands to see what may become of Syria, analysts must be circumspect in assessing the situation.

The cannons taking part in the pounding of Homs City , I have asked before and I ask again, why can’t such position be struck from the air? Why can’t this crime in action that we are all watching be stopped?

The pounding of Rastan continues Using heavy artillery and helicopters So does the pounding of Talbisseh and the old neighborhoods in Homs City , , , , ,

Nighttime in Homs City Nighttime in Rastan

Rastan: children are among the victims of pounding Whole families continue to be victimized

In Bosra Al-Sham, Daraa, helicopter take part in pounding the city

Syrian Revolution Digest – Monday 11 June 2012



A Bouquet of Massacres!

Why settle for one massacre a day when you can get away with many? Why stop killing when the price will be paid by others, when your worst case scenario is a small fiefdom of your own, when there is no accountability worthy of the name? Assad and his cronies will keep killing, because even their worst case scenario at this stage is a win. They might lose Syria, only to win an Assadstan.  

Monday June 11, 2012

Today’s death toll: 109. The Breakdown: 36 in Idlib, 19 in Deir Ezzor, 17 in Homs, 15 in Hama, 10 in Damascus (8 in the suburbs and 2 in Barzeh neighborhood), 6 in Lattakia, 5 in Aleppo and 1 in Daraa.

A series of massacres against local villages perpetrated by pro-Assad militias in Idlib Province claimed the lives of 36 people today.

Local activists in Deir Ezzor City report that a mortar round that landed in the midst of an anti-Assad rally in Jbeileh Neighborhood around midnight killed close to 50 protesters. More details to emerge tomorrow.

Tanks, choppers and heavy artillery continue to take part in the pounding of communities in the rural areas of Aleppo, Idlib Hama and Homs continues.

The airbase of Ghanto briefly help by local resistance yesterday returned to army control today after local fighters were forced to withdraw under heavy shelling, but not before emptying the weapons depots. Only surface-to-air missiles used in pounding Homs City and other restive communities were left behind.


Syrian activists outside the country echoed their denials. Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian human rights activist based in Washington, argued that the Vatican news agency had fallen for “the Assad propaganda machine” by relying on the “pro-regime” Christian religious establishment for information.

Op-Eds & Special Reports

This is one of the canons used in the pounding of Homs City Why can’t this be bombed from the air by our friends in the international community? It’s out there in the open, and not too close to a residential neighborhood, and can easily be targeted. How can western leaders watch this and do nothing?

Back when I was in college, in an introductory social studies class, the professor told us about a famous incident that took place in New York City sometimes in the early 1960s: a man kills his girlfriend by stabbing her repeatedly in the chest in a crowded street in open daylight, no one tries to stop him and no one calls the police. How is this any different?

Deir Ezzor


The pounding of Homs City continues: Jouret Al-Shayah , , , , , A mortar round lands near the cameraman Khaldiyeh Mosques and churches are targeted. This is Um Al-Zinnar, one of the oldest churches in Syria.

The pounding of Rastan (day) , , (night) Martyrs Treating the injured , Colonel Qassim Saadeddine, head of the Military Council in Homs Province and who currently leads the resistance in Rastan, inspects his troops even as the pounding continues

Qusayr: rescuing the victim of a sniper attack

After a brief halt coinciding with the visit of UN monitors to the city The pounding of Talbisseh continues and way into the night


A series of massacres perpetrated by pro-Assad militias against the inhabitants of a number of restive communities claim 36 lives.

Martyrs are brought in to the town of Mhambel Two martyrs

The victims of the Massacre of Ain Shbeeb Locals are angry because UN monitors refused to come to examine the situation.


Clashes between local fighters and pro-Assad militias take place in Barzeh Neighborhood , , , , Two were killed. The view from street level

Homes catch fire in Douma Suburb due to continued pounding The pounding continues A child is wounded when his home was shelled, he curses Bashar Al-Assad


The pounding of Taybat Al-Imam at night


Daraa City comes under fire at night


The pounding of Haffeh continues: treating the wounded

Report on the Al-Qubeir Massacre and Survivor Testimony

Al-Qubeir Massacre | 7 June 2012
The Syrian regime’s security forces and Shabeehas, pro-regime militias affiliated to security forces, have perpetrated a horrific massacre in Mazra’at Al-Qubeir.  Al-Qubeir is 20 km to the west of Hama city, and 2 km to the south of Ma’arzaf.  Seventy-eight victims are documented, including women and children.  Tanks leveled half of the houses, almost to complete destruction, and it is visible from afar by any visitor.

Some of SHNR & DCHRS members have met activists in the area, victims’ relatives and survivors from the massacre.  The UN and international investigations committees are in contact with them.  They all affirmed that the Syrian regime’s army raided many villages in western Rural Hama on Wednesday 06-06-2012.  The Syrian regime cut off all means of communications, internet, power, and water in the area so that they could perpetrate the massacre in silence.

The area was completely besieged by tanks and checkpoints, which explains the delay in reporting and documentation of the massacre and the victims.  The regime’s army forces raided the village of Jreijis and burned down many houses there. Then they raided the village of Ma’arzaf and assaulted the locals.  Around 01:00 pm, the regime’s army tanks started shelling the village of al-Qubeir. Then they raided it with buses full of Shabeehas, militias who come from the village of Aseelah and other villages loyal to the regime.

The regime forces and Shabeehas opened fire randomly on the residents of the village of Mazra’at al-Qubeir, including men, women and children.  They led men outside the houses and slaughtered many of them with knives.  They also burned more than 21 bodies to obscure evidence of the crime. They abducted 37 bodies so that the international observers cannot see them and draw attention.

It is worth mentioning that the village of al-Qubeir is administratively affiliated to the town of Ma’arzaf with is affiliated to Mhardeh region. The village consists of about 20 houses, and most of the residents are relatives from the same family.  Relatives of the victims confirmed 60 names. Most of the victims are from one family, including 10 women and 9 children. Search for survivors, and attempts to confirm the names of the rest of the victims, is still ongoing, but the area is still fully besieged amid communications blackout and power cut.


The video shows some of the victims of the massacre, including young children and women.  



Survivor Story

The video below is an interview conducted by an activist with a mother who lost her children and relatives to the Al-Qubeir massacre in Hama.  She survived the massacre and is now telling her story; international observers and Arab investigation committees are in contact with her.   In the video she affirms that the Syrian regime’s army, in cooperation with security forces Shabeehas, have perpetrated this massacre which is a crime against humanity.

Syrian Network for Human Rights calls on the international community to take urgent and immediate measures to place pressure on the Syrian regime to grant international investigations committees access to examine the circumstances of the massacre.  The Syrian regime is obscuring evidence of the massacre by burning some bodies and abducting others.  This explains why the country has not given access to international observers to see the site of the massacre until now.

Summary of the testimony given by this mother:
There were about 25 families in this village.  When the regime’s forces and shabeehas came, we were inside our houses.  They opened machinegun fire, blew up and shelled houses with residents inside.  Moreover, they stabbed and slaughtered children by knives and choppers.  Then they burned them.  People say that shabeehas came from the neighbouring villages of Aseeleh, Twaini and Tal Skeen. They came by 3 buses and a tank.  Only 5 or 6 people, including 3 men and 2 women, have survived the massacre.  They slaughtered my children by knives.  The message I want to send to the world is that the regime’s army and militias have slaughtered our men and children, and may God help us.


Videos and Story Courtesy of:

Syrian Network for Human Rights – Report on the Massacre of Mazra’at Al-Qubeir – 11 June 2012

Syrian Revolution Digest – Sunday 11 June 2012



Madness & Propaganda!

There is method to Assad’s madness and only shame in western dithering. At one point, western leaders need to come to their senses and realize that ignoring the genocide unfolding in Syria will not make it go away.

Saturday June 10, 2012

Today’s death toll: 66, mostly in Homs (26), Lattakia (10) and Idlib (31, including 26 in Ma’arrat Al-Nouman).


Op-Eds & Special Reports

My recent trip to Lebanon and Qatar made clear a dismal truth about Syria’s future: The regime’s brutality, along with Russian blindness and U.S. hesitation, is pushing Syria toward a disaster. Syria is sinking into a sectarian war that will produce a regime controlled by Islamists. It didn’t have to be that way, and that ending could still be avoided. But unless Moscow wakes up, and Washington takes a more active role, that outcome looks all too likely, with dangerous repercussions for the entire Middle East.

Et Tu Benedict?

The reasons for the ultimatum ordering Christians to leave Qusair “remain unclear,” the Vatican agency said. “According to some, it serves to avoid more suffering to the faithful; other sources reveal ‘a continuity focused on discrimination and repression.’ Still others argue that Christians have openly expressed their loyalty to the state and for this reason the opposition army drives them away.”

The Vatican News Agency falls victim again to the Assad propaganda machine. The explanation is simple: they keep relying on reports from the official clerical establishment representing Christian interests in Syria. But the problem here is the fact that the Christian religious establishment, very much like the Sunni one, is quite corrupt and hence pro-regime.

Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, the Jesuit priest named in the report, is not of the establishment. He came to Syria close to 20 years ago and has been very active in building trust between Muslims and Christian populations. More importantly, something that the report fails to note, he came out on the side on the revolutionary movement early on which earned him plenty of affection in revolutionary circles.

A few days ago, Father Paolo paid a visit to Qusayr where he was warmly received by local fighters. He spoke of future Syria where freedom of expression will be respected, called on doctors to provide succor to all people irrespective of their religious backgrounds, donated his own blood to the cause and criticized the regime noting that “no one wants it anymore” ,

The visit by Father Paolo led to a temporary halt in the shelling, which gave an opportunity to some local families, Christian and Muslim, to leave town, in a continuing exodus that has little to do with religiosity and more to do with the monstrosity of pro-Assad militias who keep shelling everything that moves. Perhaps this exodus is what gave birth to the report. As usual in these cases, the Vatican News Agency soon began retracting its earlier version of things. Soon after, the local coordinating committee in Qusair issued a statement belying the report, and noting that the continuous pounding have been driving local families from both grounds out of the city for close to two months now.

Meanwhile, the article below provides a more detailed refutation of the Vatican report.

Claims of straightforward ethnic cleansing by Islamist militants do not add up, because that is not how jihadist groups deal with Christians.

In addition to the explanations provided by the article above, it should be noted that local fighters actually benefit more by having Christians stay in their midst than by having leave, because every Christian death as result of the continuing bombing undermines Assad’s own image as protector of religious minorities.

As for Father Paolo, Facebook status updates by different internal activists indicate that he will be leaving the country within the next couple of days, having been designated as a persona non grata by Assad officials.

I, Rebel Leader

According to the experts at The Voice of Russia Radio Station, I am a rebel leader coordinating NATO involvement in Syria.

… last month, a self-proclaimed rebel leader or opposition leader Syrian born Ammar Abdulhamid, who has been living in Washington and was a former visiting scholar at Brookings Institution until recently, came to the United States as head of a delegation of opposition figures in Syria to visit with U.S. officials, government officials. And immediately afterwards he flew into Pristine, the capital of Kosovo, to meet with leaders of the government to a former KLA fighters, such as Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and others, and quite bluntly told Associated Press in May that he was studying the Kosovo example to be replicated in Syria even stating that he was particularly impressed with how the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army able to integrate various armed groups. From which we can understand many instances are nothing more than criminal underworld militias into a fighting force, which was then coordinated with the United States and NATO during the bombing war against Yugoslavia in 1999.

There are several problems here of course: not in my entire have it ever proclaimed myself a rebel leader, our delegation did not meet with the Prime Minister, I have lived in the U.S. since September 2005, and finally, I actually visited Moscow for a week in late May, gave interviews to the press and met with the real policy expert there. So, unless Russia is taking part in the Cosmic plot against Assad, our expert at the Voice of Russia, have some explaining to do.

Video Highlights


UN Monitors document their own visit to the Damascene suburb of Al-Hajar Al-Aswadand their visit to the Prime Minister’s Office in Damascus City where a mortar shell landed in the park nearby


In Talbisseh, a home receives a direct hit by a mortar round, as people rush in to save the family inside, including a woman and two children that we can see, another round comes Treating the wounded And the pounding continues , A martyr

In Ghanto, the 743 Brigade of the regular defects as a unit with its missiles aimed at Talbisseh , , , This is the largest defection to date. But the Brigade comes immediately under fire from nearby loyalist units One of the choppers taking part in the pounding

In the town of Qusayr, local fighters take over and blow up the municipality building that was used by pro-Assad militias as sniper position , Treating the wounded of today’s shelling Martyrs , , , The shelling continues Seven martyrs

Meanwhile, the pounding of the old neighborhoods of Homs City continues: Qoussour Ghoutah Khaldiyeh


In Ma’arrat Al-Nouman, continued shelling leaves many wounded: treating the wounded ,

Choppers take part in pounding the village of Hardateen


In Al-Atareb, local scramble to street the victims of continuous pounding ,

The nighttime pounding of Bayanoun of Hayan And during the day ,


The pounding of the town of Haffeh continues The entire mountainous region, including Jabal Al-Akrad, and Jabal Al-Noubah village, is set on fire

In the nearby village of Bkas, the pounding leaves 10 children dead


A rally in front of the central police headquarters

The suburb of Douma is pounded: the injured fall in the streets

Syrian Revolution Digest – Saturday 9 June 2012



The Battle for Syria & the Truth!


While Assad and his ilk are busy carving up Syria, even as the world watches on in horror and disbelief, both fake and sincere, the challenge ahead for Syria’s opposition groups is to conjure a plan for keeping the rest of the country together. Perhaps a plan can hasten the decision for intervention, without which the future looks bleak.


Saturday June 09, 2012


Today’s death toll: 96. The Breakdown: 26 in Daraa City including many women and children, killed by pro-Assad militias after they stormed the city. 26 in Homs, including 10 in Khaldieyh neighborhood in Homs City killed under the continued shelling of old neighborhoods with anti-aircraft missile and heavy artillery, the rest died in the towns of Talbisseh and Qusayr due to continued shelling. 26 in Idlib, half of whom fell in the city of Maaraat Al-Nouman. 12 including children in Lattakia who fell in the continued pounding of Hiffeh town and nearby villages. Deaths were also reported in Daraya suburb in Damascus, as well as in the provinces of Aleppo and Hassakeh.






Op-Eds & Special Reports



Shoddy unprofessional dimwitted journalism



“But according to a new report in Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which have been largely supportive of Assad.”


Assad and his supporters have been working since the beginning of the revolution to provoke exactly this kind of response from Sunni rebels in order to use it to bolster their claims of terrorist infiltrators, armed gangs and external conspiracies, and so they can justify even more violent crackdown, wider-scale ethnic cleansing and larger massacres. Had this been an anti-Alawite massacre as FAZ report claims, had there, in fact, been a single Alawite victim among the dead in Houla, Assad and his media would have jumped on it like the ravenous wolves they are. They wouldn’t have waited for a German journalist quoting unnamed sources to tell them what happened.


We have lists of names of victims, we have eyewitnesses, we have videos and we have satellite photography showing pro-Assad checkpoints all over the place. But more importantly, had these claims been true wouldn’t Syrian media have pointed this out from day one? Wouldn’t
Assad have bothered say so during his speech in which he described the people who perpetrated this as monsters? Would local Alawites have allowed Sunni rebels to bury their dead for them? Wouldn’t Assad have declared national mourning for the dead?


Assad and his supporters have been working since the beginning of the revolution to provoke exactly this kind of response from Sunni rebels in order to use it to bolster their claims of terrorist infiltrators, armed gangs and external conspiracies, and so they can justify even more violent crackdown, wider-scale ethnic cleansing and larger massacres. Had there been a single Alawite victim among the dead in Houla, they would have jumped on it like the ravenous wolves they are. They wouldn’t have waited for an overambitious German journalist, a novice trying to make a name or a has-been trying to revive it, quoting unnamed sources to tell them what happened.


Video Highlights




The neighborhoods of Old Homs at point housed over 800,000 people, most of whom Sunnis, now the inhabitants have been forced out and their dwellings are being raised to the ground. Meanwhile, majority Alawite and Christian neighborhoods are quite safe and life goes on as normal. The city is all too simply, and as the world watches on hopelessly, is being readied for incorporation in a future Alawite state.


In Homs City, the entire crew documenting the current bombing campaign was hit but they miraculously survived, and here they can be seeing tending to their own wounds And the pounding of the old neighborhoods continued:Qarabees , Qoussour , , , , , , , Ghoutah Jouret Al-Shayah: houses catch fire Hamidiyeh Khaldiyeh , , Bomb goes off near the media team recording the events Wounded ,


Pro-Assad militias stormed the neighborhood of Ghoutah and carried out hundreds of arrest amidst heavy firing ,




Qusayr: the pounding continues Martyrs Rescuing the wounded


Houla comes under heavy gunfire at night







The town of Taybat Al-Imam comes under heavy pounding at night


In the town of Kafar Zeiteh, a local martyr is so disfigured he was only identified by the tattoo on his arm UN monitors meet the locals




Nighttime clashes in the town of Sanamein


Pro-Assad militias set a few houses I the town of Abtaa on fire


In Daraa Al-Balad, locals take advantage of a lull in the pounding to see off the martyrs to their final resting place , , , Praying for the dead the pounding earlier in the day , ,





Locals in Qaboun suburb hold a funeral for yesterday’s dead , ,



In Babbila, pro-Assad militias force local merchants to end their strike




Protesters in Salaheddine neighborhood, Aleppo City, come under fire


The town of Tal Rif’aat is pounded by choppers


Syrian Revolution Digest – Friday 8 June 2012



Genocide Foretold!


The killing will not stop unless it is stopped. We are now standing a breath away from full-blown genocide, because world leaders failed to act last year. By acting now they could still prevent genocide, but the wounds that have already been carved in our souls will take decades to heel. And if they failed to act still, then the blood is on their hands too.


Friday June 08, 2012 – This week is dedicated to the solidarity between the business communities and the revolutionaries.


Today’s death toll: 85. This is only a preliminary estimate, as the death toll from Daraa City is still unclear. The Breakdown: 18 in Idlib, 34 in Daraa, 12 in Homs, 11 in Damascus Suburbs, 6 in Damascus City, 3 in Hama and 1 in Deir Ezzor.


In Damascus City, clashes between the local resistance and Assad loyalists took place in the neighborhoods of Qaboun, Barzeh, Kafar Sousseh, Jobar and Mazzeh. Meanwhile, the pounding of old Sunni neighborhoods in Homs City continues unabated.


Muqtada Al-Sadr, leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq conceded today the possibility that members of his group could indeed be taking part in the crackdown against the democracy movement in Syria. If such participation is indeed proven, Al-Sadr said, then these members must be considered as defectors used by external parties.





Syria conflict driving more to flee homes-ICRC * Access to food and medical services hampered * Infrastructure needing urgent repair * ICRC, Red Crescent supplied food, medicine to 400,000 Syrians



Syria massacre: UN observers greeted by smell of rotting flesh The sight that met the first United Nations observers to visit the Syrian hamlet of al-Qubeir yesterday was of homes gutted and burned. The smell in the air was rotting flesh.


Gun battles rage in streets of Damascus Syrian army and opposition fighters clash in capital’s Mezze neighbourhood, as monitors reach al-Qubeyr massacre site.




Op-Eds & Special Reports


Along Syria’s volatile border, rebels, rabbits, and ambushes A Lebanese gas smuggler was killed in a Syrian Army ambush this week, snapping the patience of locals in the Lebanese town of Arsal. Another ambush targeted rabbit hunters.



Editor’s note: Hind Aboud Kabawat is a Syrian attorney. She is also a conflict resolution specialist and senior research analyst at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, which is based at George Mason University in Virginia. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Hind Aboud Kabawat: “I am a devout Christian, proud and respectful of the church’s teachings. But in the political realm, I am first and foremost a citizen, a citizen of the new free Syria. I believe that my fellow Christians will come to feel the same way. I also believe the same should be true for our Sunni, Alawite, Druze and Kurdish sisters and brothers.”



Beyond the humanitarian disaster that Syria has become, the strategic damage that could result from the nightmare scenarios that could transpire in Syria should concentrate the minds of U.S. strategists. If it takes American-led intervention to prevent them, then that is where discussion of U.S. policy should begin. Time is not an ally.


Over 750 rallies took place all across Syria today, with hundreds of thousands of protesters defying pro-Assad militias and risking their lives to reiterate their rejection of Assad rule. Meanwhile, Assad and his militias continue to wage war against the people.


Video Highlights




Live Video showing the clashes currently taking place in Daraa City can be found here Basically, Daraa is now the second Homs.


Daraa City: In what seems as retaliation for the assassination of Colonel Mohammad Aslan, one of the architects of the crackdown in Daraa province, loyalist troops today bombarded the downtown areas of Daraa City known as Daraa Al-Balad, killing close to 34 inhabitants, as of latest count – the dead and injured , , , , , , , A child among the martyrs The city gets pounded again at night
 Pulling the body of a child from the street


Earlier in the day, protesters in Kashef neighborhood clash with security


The town of Kafar Shams, Daraa Province, comes under fire Sanamein comes under fire




The neighborhood of Kafar Sousseh, Damascus City, gets pounded at dawn And throughout the day , ,



The neighborhood of Midan comes under fire during the day at night Protesters remain defiant in face of the crackdown


The neighborhood of al-Qadam comes under fire during the day Daytime protesters in Old Mazzeh come under fire The suburb of Tadamon comes under fire from snipers


Heavy nighttime clashes take place in Barzeh neighborhood, Damascus City , Same scenario is repeated inJobar


Nighttime clashes in Douma, Damascus Suburb, Martyrs ,


Jdeidet Artouz: Martyrs




Lattakia City: Al-Ramel al-Janoubi, a majority-Sunni neighborhood, comes under fire at night The same scenario is repeated in Sleibeh Neighborhood , Earlier, a peaceful daytime rally is fired at


In the town of Hiffeh, activists show the impact of the continuing pounding , ,





Pounding of the nearby town of Qusayr leaves several dead and many injured, including this child




Protesters in Al-Shaar Neighborhood, Aleppo City, come under fire


Protesters in Salaheddine, Aleppo City, come under fire but remain defiant ,




A new video of Qubeir Massacre




The video of the massacre at Hammameh which I listed yesterday, has been translated by the Guardian and can be accessed here for clarity:


Syrian Network for Human Rights: Violations Report 8 June 2012

Homs| Al-Khaldya
In Bastana al-Dyuna, the video-grapher captures the minute a shell fell on a residential house and its explosion.


Hama| Kafr Zaita
Six bodies of victims, only one of whom was identified, have been documented in Kafr Zaita city in Rural Hama; they were discovered in the streets and houses of Kafr Zaita after the regime’s army and security forces withdrew from there.  Prior to this, there was a total communications blackout in the city.

In this video, made by a girl, security forces plant explosive charge near Al-Hurani hospital so that they can later claim that armed gangs planted them.  One of security forces personnel says clearly that they have planted the explosive charge in this place and they will carry out its explosion.

Protesters at Aleppo University run through the streets as security forces opened up fire on them. 


Casualty Report

52 confirmed casualties killed by the regime in Syria on Thursday, 7 June 2012
Hama: 11
Latakia: 10
Homs: 8
Damascus and rural Damascus: 11
Aleppo: 4
Idleb: 3
Dar’aa: 2
Al-Hasakah: 2
Deir Ezzor: 1


122 confirmed casualties killed by the regime in Syria on Wednesday, 6 June 2012.

Latakia: 13
Idleb: 10
Homs: 9
Damascus and rural Damascus: 7
Aleppo: 3
Deir Ezzor: 6
Dar’aa: 1
Hama: 73


Videos and Statistics Courtesy of:

Syrian Network for Human Rights – Casualty Report – 7 June 2012

Syrian Network for Human Rights – Violations Report – 7 June 2012

Syrian Network for Human Rights – Casualty Report – 6 June 2012

Syrian Network for Human Rights – Violations Report – 6 June 2012

Syrian Revolution Digest – Thursday 7 June 2012




An All Too Public Genocide!


From the very beginning of the revolution, the Assads have been the only party that had plans and contingency plans, and they are sticking to them. It seems we may not have to wait for long before an all-out cut-down-the-tall-trees moment comes in many mixed communities that the Assads want to see cleansed of their Sunni inhabitants. This is the story of a genocide that could have been averted.


Thursday June 07, 2012


Today’s death toll: 44, mostly in the town of Hiffeh and surrounding villages in Lattakia Province.


Air strikes were reported against different communities in Daraa, Jabal Al-Zawiyeh (Idlib Province) and Hiffeh.


The poundings of the towns of Eizaz, Manag, Hayan, Al-Abizmo and Deir Jamal in Aleppo Province continued.


The town of Talbisseh, Homs Province, came under heavy pounding driving most of the local population into the surrounding fields.


Activists in a number of communities in Idlib and Daraa provinces report that choppers sprayed a gas over their communities that left many people suffering from poison-like symptoms, including fainting and vomiting.




Syria: UN observers come under attack The UN patrol was trying to reach the site of a mass killing when they came under heavy weapons fire.






Assad regime has lost humanity – UN Secretary general says Syrian people ‘are bleeding’ and that crimes against humanity may have been committed



Op-Eds & Special Reports








U.S. Options for Syria: Action vs. InactionThe Obama administration should take actions to overcome the obstacles to, and mitigate the risks of, bolder international action in Syria.


On Assad’s Doorstep The revolution is finally coming to the once quiet, now tense streets of inner Damascus.


Those facing Assad’s guns are not asking us to put boots on the ground. What they do want are the means to defend themselves, secure communications technology, and a limited number of other assets that will give them a fighting chance — though no guarantees. Providing such assistance will give us a fighting chance to influence the opposition now and the post-Assad environment later — though no guarantees.


While it’s hard to say whether the Syrian regime is preparing a fallback plan of an Alawite mini-state, it’s clear that Assad is pursuing a policy of Alawite inner consolidation. The Assad regime’s Alawite-dominated forces are already little more than a sectarian militia. By arming Alawite villages and using them as launching pads for attacks against Sunnis, as he did in Houla and al-Qubayr (and possibly Haffeh), Assad is hardening the sectarian boundaries and implicating the entire Alawite community in the murder of Sunnis, further bonding its fate to his. If the Sunnis retaliate, as he surely must have counted they would, all the better.


Annan Buries Own Plan: Now What?



“We cannot allow mass killing to become part of everyday reality in Syria,” Annan said. “The crisis is escalating. The violence is getting worse. The abuses are continuing. The country is becoming more polarized and more radicalized. And Syria’s immediate neighbors are increasingly worried about the threat of spillover.” Annan said that unless the fighting is halted, “all Syrians will lose.”



The United States, the United Kingdom, and France, which have favored Assad’s ouster, and Russia and China, which have not, would finally be on the same page on Syria at the head of a “contact group” of these world powers and regional countries. But Russia’s willingness to go along with Mr. Annan’s plan, analysts say, depends on whether or not it believes that its interests in Syria, its last toehold in the Middle East, can be preserved despite Assad’s departure.



Annan stressed that “individual actions or interventions will not resolve the crisis” — an apparent reference to opposition fighters and the countries providing them with arms and financial support. “If we genuinely unite behind one process, and act and speak with one voice, I believe it is still possible to avert the worst and enable Syria to emerge from this crisis,” he said.


Video Highlights




We have not been able to document the immediate aftermath of the massacres in Houla andMaarzaf (Qubeir Farms) to show you the celebrations of pro-Assad Alawite militias due to lack of access, but, thanks to this leaked video that shows pro-Assad Alawite militias celebrating a a recent massacre they perpetrated at the village of Hammameh at Idlib province, we can show how they celebrated their feat there, and you can deduce the rest


Activists report the use of poison gas sprayed from low flying planes in a number of provinces, including Daraa, Hama and Idlib: A victim from Daraa




In Lattakia City, Sunni neighborhoods don’t sleep. They come under fire from Alawite militias, Sunni inhabitants seek refuge in prayers and show their defiance by reiterating cries of Allahu Akbar from their balconies , , But the city’s air is thick with sectarian tensions, as all seem to wait and dread the coming of the Moment.


In the town of Hiffeh, the pounding impacts the village of Dfeel , Hiffeh: the pounding continues Three martyrs




The pounding of Qoussour Neighborhood, Homs City, continues , Hamidiyeh Qarabees An overview of the pounding ,


A chopper takes part in the pounding of Talbisseh, Homs Province , And tanks And Heavy artillery , Pulling the injured and dead from the streets A little martyred girl mortar rounds , ,


The town of Tal Kalakh, Homs Province, comes under heavy nighttime pounding


The pounding of the town of Rastan continues at night




The town of Taybat Al-Imam, Hama Province comes under heavy nighttime pounding


The pounding of the town of Kafar Zeiteh continues




The town of Hammeh, Damascus, comes under heavy nighttime pounding To the east, the neighborhood of Jobar comes under pounding as well


The town of Douma comes under heavy pounding the injured


In Midan, protesters come under fire




The village of Al-Abizmo comes under heavy pounding




The town of Um Al-Mayadin comes under heavy gunfire ,


The town of Tafas comes under pounding ,


The town of Nasseeb comes under heavy pounding , ,


Deir Ezzor


UN monitors pay a visit to the town of Tayaneh