Friday, June 3, 2011

Syrians continue protests amid rising regime cruelty

Once again the Assad regime has shown its total disrespect for even the most basic human rights.  Not content with murdering, arresting, and torturing adults, this regime has now resorted to the unspeakably barbaric slaughter of children.  The torture and murder of 13 year old Hamza al Khatib marks a new low even by the standards of this regime's children.  Hamza was arrested and tortured for an entire month before his mutilated body was finally returned to his family with his penis cut off as a final insult to his dignity and manhood.  Hamza joined the protests after his cousin was murdered by the Syrian regime.  Now his own father Ali al-Khatib is also in custody, and G-d only knows what the regime will now do to this bereaved father.  See this article for more evidence of this regime's crimes against humanity in this case  The murderers also killed another child, Safwan Zuhair, in Damascus, thus showing their total contempt for the sanctity of human life.  Other child victims include a 4 year old girl, Mrawa Shadko, a 10 year old girl, Malak Munif Qadak, and a 13 year old boy, Mahmoud Ezzeddine.

Instead of allowing the regime to intimidate them, Syrians have bravely escalated their protests.  They are determined to liberate themselves from a murderer who has now stooped so low as to torture and murder children.  50,000 to 100,000 people marched in Hama on Friday, depending upon the sources of information.
Al Jazeera reported 50,000, while exiled opposition group Reform Party of Syria (RPS) reported 100,000.  Hama is a city which already suffered the wrath of the Assad regime after the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in 1982, when at least 20,000 people, including civilians, were slaughtered. The regime has apparently committed another massacre on Friday, June 3, in Hama.  RPS has received the names of 32 people murdered in Hama today, but up to 120 people may have been killed today in Hama alone.

On Saturday, mass protests against the massacre of protestors continued in Hama.  According to the New York Times, up to 100,000 people participated in the protests in Hama alone on Saturday, June 4th. Every week the protestors continue to inspire me with their incredible courage.  They show a moral clarity which is sadly lacking in the White House and the West. Last week protestors once again showed their true positive colors by chanting slogans against Hezbollah and Iran and in the city of Da'ara they also burned posters of Hassan Nasrallah.
The protestors once again re-affirmed the fact that their struggle is against tyranny as represented by the Assad and Iran regimes and their Hezbollah supporters, not against the West and the Jews.  The Iran regime has responded by sending the Basij thugs into Aleppo to attack protestors, which symbolizes the significance of Aleppo to the regime.  The regime also used helicopter gunships in Idlib province for the first time on Saturday, which  marks another regime escalation of atrocities against the people of Syria.  The murderers killed 10 people
This week major protests occurred in two major cities in northwest Syria.  On Friday, June 3, up to 70,000 people protested against the regime in Maarat an Numan and 50,000 protested in Ariha.  Former political prisoner Anwar Fares spoke from Da'ara where he reminded the world that every single person who protests inside Da'ara is literally risking their lives for the sake of freedom.  Mr. Fares estimated that 2,000 people protested in Da'ara in the face of this awful risk. 
Two very significant pieces of news are coming out of today's nationwide protests against Assad.  The first is that according to RPS, Aleppo has finally joined the protests today on a large scale for the second week in a row.  According to Ammar Abdulhamid and RPS, last week and this Thursday, protests occurred in the Aleppo neighborhood of Saladin.  On Friday, June 3, 10,000 people marched in Aleppo in the district of Tal-Rifaat, and in addition more protests are occurring in at least additional two districts of Aleppo, Seif al-Dawleh and Salah Eddine.  Other protests are taking place in the suburbs of Aleppo.  Aleppo's participation in the protests suggests that the alliance between the Sunni merchants in Aleppo and the Assad regime is finally fraying.  Thus, one of the three key developments necessary for regime change, a break between Assad and the Sunni Aleppo merchants, is happening. Hopefully the merchants in Aleppo will completely break their ties to the Assad regime and join the protestors, thus siding with the Syrian people against their oppressors. 
Protests also continued in the mixed cities of Baniyas, Lattakia, and Jableh last week.  Sizeable protests of at least 10,000 people took place in each of the following cities on Friday, May 27: Homs, Hama, Idlib, Deir Ezzor, and Alboukamal.  The persistence of large-scale protests in several cities symbolizes the continuing nation-wide momentum which appears to be on the side of the protestors.

Protests also occurred last week outside the Hasan Mosque in the traditional Midlan District of Damascus.  Despite the security forces' attack on the protestors as they left the mosque, the people managed to shout their slogan "the people want to topple the regime."  Thus even in the face of regime repression and mass arrests, the Syrian people's resistance to this evil and illegal regime is ongoing. 

The other noteworthy development is the news regarding a possible split in the army.  In late May several high-ranking officers including Lieutenant General AbdulFattah Dandash were arrested for refusing to fire ont the protestors.  These arrests signify the fact that senior military and security officers are beginning to split from the regime and side with the protestors.  Thus, these arrests seem to indicate a rising trend of increasingly high-ranking military officers who are rejecting the regime and siding with the people.  A more widespread defection from the regime at the highest ranks of the armed forces is needed to topple this regime, but this possibility looks increasingly likely.

The protestors are showing increasing signs of continuity and strength in their freedom uprising.  The momentum seems to be on the protestors' side as seen by the reaction of the people in Aleppo and the high-ranking security officers.  This movement deserves the support of the entire civilized world including Israel and the Jews as well as Europe and America.  This is a rare clear contest between good and evil, and Western governments should act with moral clarity in Syria by calling explicitly for regime change in Syria and by stopping their blatantly false claims that Assad is a reformer.  Regardless of what the West does, the Syrian people look like they are strong enough to remove this evil regime on their own.

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