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29 Feb 2012 20:36


World: Stricken area of Homs flanked by Syrian tanks, full-on ground-assault feared

  • It was a very aggressive attack on Baba Amr today. I don’t think they want to enter it anyway; they want to destroy it completely by shelling it from adjacent villages and neighborhoods.
  • Mulham al-Jundi, Syrian activist • Describing the state of Baba Amr, a part of the besieged city of Homs in Syria. Homs has been the site of the most sustained, catastrophic violence in recent months, and tanks have reportedly surrounded the Baba Amr neighborhood on four sides, launching mortar fire and rockets into the fray. Communication into Baba Amr, which had been maintained for weeks, was cut off for a few hours today, conjuring fears of a ground massacre rolling through the area. Thankfully, recent reports suggest this has not yet occurred. The scene in Homs is ghastly, and looks to be getting worse every day — al-Jundi also said it’s hard to discern how many people are left alive, because anybody who moves through the streets risks being shot dead by government snipers stationed on rooftops. source

11 Jan 2012 14:39


World: Syria’s Assad pledges victory over “terrorist” movement

  • I belong to this street. We will make this phase the end for them and their plans. We are going to win without any doubt.
  • Bashar al-Assad • In remarks made to a pro-Assad rally in Damascus. This represents clearly the ongoing narrative by Assad’s government in dismissing the accusations of widespread, lethal violence against the public; the death-toll, while acknowledged, is suggested to be the work of terrorists rather than state security forces themselves (for an illuminating look into these propaganda methods, look at the state news agency’s website). The UN estimates that Assad’s government has killed over 5,000 civilians during the last ten months. source

03 Jan 2012 14:30


World: Arab League monitors leave Syria, violence ensues

  • The beat goes on: It wouldn’t exactly be accurate to suggest that Syrian security forces have been waiting until the delegation of monitors from the Arab League (with its very controversial leader) leave areas before continuing violence against the citizenry, sadly. Indeed, attacks and killings of civilians brazenly went on throughout the delegation’s visit to Douma. The monitors left Homs today, spurring another outburst of violence; the Arab League plans to review the work of the delegation, and their ongoing role amidst vocal criticisms from foreign governments, France among them. source

29 Dec 2011 14:23


World: Arab League monitors witness to gunfire in Homs

  • Not so “quiet”: As we mentioned yesterday, the leader of the group of monitors from the Arab League currently visiting Syria is a Sudanese general named Mohammed al-Dabi (whose record in that capacity has led human rights activists to denounce his role). Yesterday he insisted the violence stricken city of Homs was quiet, and that the monitors had not witnessed anything “frightening.” Today brought reports that, heading to the city hall in the capitol suburb of Douma, the monitors arrived as security forces opened fire on “tens of thousands.” source

13 Dec 2011 15:06


World: Russia says criticism of its defense of Syria “immoral”

  • UN action on Syria blocked by Russia, China: It was just over a month ago that Syria claimed to accept a deal with the Arab League to halt attacks and killings of citizens (and allow free media observers into the country), before flaunting their violation of the deal the next day by killing eleven people. They’ve since talked about another deal with the League, similar to the terms of the last one, but it’s rather impossible to take that seriously at this point. Many UN states would like to recommend Syria to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity, but Security Council members China and Russia refuse to issue any condemnation of the Assad government — Russia, further, has referred to western criticism of their defense of Syria as “immoral.” source

15 Nov 2011 14:18


World: Jordan’s King Abdullah would step down were he Assad

  • An “expiration date”: Here’s a look at an interview recently conducted with Jordan’s King Abdullah, who speaks in understandably pessimistic terms about the nature of the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria. While predicting that the use of violence against his own citizens meant that Assad could not maintain power unchallenged, he also expressed concern as to who would lead Syria afterwards — a member of the same regime doing little good. This comes at a time of great violence in Syria; just yesterday between fifty and seventy-one people were killed. source

01 Nov 2011 14:13


World: Syria says they’ve agreed to Arab League plan to end upheaval

  • Peace can’t come fast enough: Syrian state media have claimed that Bashar al-Assad, still at the helm of a great deal of violence and death committed against the citizens of his nation, has agreed to a plan with the Arab League to quell the calamity. Specifics on the plan weren’t given, and are expected tomorrow. Syrian state media can’t really be taken at face value, however, so it’ll be very instructive to see what if anything comes from this agreement; the United Nations estimates over 3,000 people have been killed by the Assad government’s crackdown on protest and dissent. source