Posted by Joshua on Friday, June 10th, 2011
Idlib province, which is only 45 minutes from Aleppo is the eye of the hurricane. The government is poring troops into the region to make sure it remains under firm control. Syria cannot afford to lose territory where an insurgency or rebel army might emerge. Damascus will do everything it can to preclude the formation of a Benghazi, which would allow foreign intelligence agencies and governments to begin arming and training a rebel army, as happened in Libya.
Aleppo is coming out to protest today in Bab al-Neirab and a few other highly conservative neighborhoods. Sources say that activists have been trying to get protests of 10,000 off the ground in Aleppo but have been beaten back badly by regime force.
There is growing pressure on Western governments to take a stand against the Syrian regime and do something. But what can they do? Sanctions hurt the people. The notion of mobilizing for regime-change in Syria is too daunting. It is too much to get one’s mind around. Only the US army forced out Saddam Hussein. It is now hunting Qaddafi in Libya. Strong regimes in which the military remains loyal are very difficult to overturn.
A Syrian security officer who fled with the civilian refugees told the Hürriyet Daily News, “It was not the protesters who killed the soldiers; it was the commanders who killed them. Then most of the soldiers ran away with the protesters then.”
“We received a phone call from the center, and they ordered us to shoot and kill all the protesters,” said Ahmad Gavi, 21, a Syrian soldier who fled to Turkey following the deadly clashes in Jisr Al-Shughour.
“Five soldiers who refused to follow this order were killed immediately in front of me. Then commanders and some soldiers started to shoot each other,” Gavi said. “There were 180 soldiers at the security check post and 120 of them were killed.”
“Erdoğan personally attacked Assad’s brother, Maher Assad, for the brutal clampdown and said that Syria, unlike Libya, is seen as akin to a Turkish domestic affair”. “Sadly, they don’t behave like humans,” Erdoğan said, referring to Maher Assad and his team, which has been ferocious in crushing the dissent.
“Now the barbarity… Now think [soldiers] pose [for a photo] in such an ugly way at the bedside of women who they killed… that these images cannot be digested,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey calls events in Syria “savagery’
Latest Update: 06.10.11, 13:44 / Israel News
PM Erdogan says Syrian forces ‘not acting in humane manner,’ suggests Istanbul could support UN Security Council decision against Damascus. US Defense Secretary Gates questions Assad’s legitimacy
Turkey’s prime minister has described Syria’s crackdown on protesters as “savagery” and accused the country’s president of taking the situation “too lightly.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview on ATV television late Thursday that some images coming out of Syria were “unpalatable” and suggested Turkey could support a UN Security Council decision against Syria. His comments were carried by the Anatolia news agency Friday….
Erdogan said: “They are not acting in a humane manner. This is savagery.”
Gates questions Assad’s legitimacy
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday the legitimacy of Assad’s rule was open to question after the killing of protesters by security forces.
“I would say the slaughter of innocent lives in Syria should be a problem and a concern for everybody,” Gates told a seminar in Brussels.
“Whether Assad still has the legitimacy to govern his own country, I think is a question everyone needs to consider,” he said. If it fails, and I’m sure it will, Syria will tidy up house and the Turkey/Iran/Syria axis is over.
The top UN human rights official, Navi Pillay, said on Thursday that more than 1,100 people may have been killed and up to 10,000 detained since March in protests against Assad’s rule, and urged Syria to halt its “assault on its own people”…..
Believe it or not, there are protestors the Syrian regime has no desire to target. They are the hundreds of Palestinians bussed by the government to the Israeli border in a cynical effort to deflect attention from its campaign of murdering its own …
Syria must be treated as an urgent international priority. Stronger statements from the U.S., EU and others pointedly calling for Assad’s removal, the only possible option to resolving the crisis at this point, are needed as well as serious consideration of additional diplomatic, economic, and other measures that can help bring about an end to the regime and set the stage for a new era for the Syrian people….
Kenneth Bandler is the American Jewish Committee’s Director of Media Relations.
Always good to read Patrick Seale, who knows Syria so well and is always prescient, smart and wise.
Q&A: Patrick Seale: author of The Struggle for Syria and Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East shares his views on Syria’s current crisis. By Dalia Haider for Syria Today
Time to Talk? Challenges to starting a political dialogue that can bring an end to Syria’s crisis.
By Dalia Haidar & Muhammad Atef Fares
After two months of protests and violence that has left hundreds dead across Syrian towns and cities, the government announced in May that it was time to talk.
Bouthaina Shaaban, President Bashar al-Assad’s political and media adviser, told the New York Times that the government was “gaining the upper hand” in quelling protests, which authorities mainly blamed on unidentified “armed criminal elements”.
On May 31, President Assad issued a decision forming a committee to set up a basis for a national dialogue, according to SANA.
A way out
Despite taking the initiative to engage the opposition, the Syrian government seems to have a long way to go before reaching a political solution. Halting military and security action is just the first step, opposition figures say….
Turkey’s stability is finished, in a year’s time its economic growth will halt. It will only make gains if the UNSC resolution is passed.
Turkey will gain the most in post Asad Syria. She is the natural ally of democratic Syria.
The site named Revolution Intelligence that you posted on is indeed extremely concerning and dangerous. From the main page, one can click on the arkan al nizam (pillars of the regime) tab on the left. It lists of 54 people. Particularly noteworthy are the names that appear under the heading of financiers for the so-called shabbiha. It lists some of the most established business people in Syria: Imad Ghreiwati, Mourtada Aldandashi, Saeb Nahhas and Ayman Asfari in particular come to mind. That the people behind this website list such names and claim that they finance the Shabbiha is beyond dangerous.
This so-called revolution is likely to soon morph into a war on the haves in the country. Every wealthy business man and industrialist is likely to be targeted soon. It is conceivable that we start to see their factories and businesses become a target of arson and attacks.
The final chapter of this tragedy will likely point to economics as main driver to what has transpired in front of our eyes since March. Many in the opposition side are already referring to the past 5 years as a “war on the poor”. The lifting of the subsidies while the rich were getting richer is likely to be seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back.