Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Signs of Hope and Disarray in Syria

On the one hand, a few new developments inside Syria provide reason for hope. First of all, there is evidence that the Syrian army defectors are developing increasing levels of cohesion. They have enough popular support in the largely Sunni areas of Hama, Homs, Idlib, and Deir Ezzor to be able to organize themselves and also to begin to develop relationship with the emerging new opposition networks inside Syria. The FSA has claimed responsibility for attacks on Assad’s militias and security personnel in Idlib, Homs, and Deir Ezzor, including an attack on a bus of Assad’s militias in Mhardeh. Unfortunately these attacks are not enough to seriously challenge the regime, but they do demonstrate increasing levels of organization by the army defectors. Also more defectors have emerged from the town of Jisr Ashoughour in Idlib province, which was the site of another episode of army defectors who were supposedly massacred earlier in the uprising. http://syrianrevolutiondigest.blogspot.com/2011/09/defector.html

Also, on Thursday, September 1, the Attorney General of Hama, Adnan Bakkour, submitted his resignation in protests against the brutality being inflicted on the Syrian people by the Assad regime. This resignation represents one of the few significant cracks in the highest levels of the regime. The Assad regime clearly understands the threat posed by Bakkour’s defection, as evidenced by the fact that just two days later, on Saturday, September 3, he survived an assassination attempt in his hide-out. Three revolutionaries gave their lives to protect him. His current fate is unclear as conflicting reports indicate that he might be either in hiding in Damascus or possibly in Turkey or Cyprus.

According to the Local Coordination Committees, thousands of protestors attended the funeral of Sheikh Ibrahim Saqleny today at the Kabeer Mosque in Aleppo. The regime clearly felt threatened by the sight of a mass protest in the commercial capital of Aleppo, as evidenced by the fact that an unspecified number of mourners were arrested at his funeral. Once again this regime demonstrates its total contempt for human life by opening fire on a funeral for martyr Jamal Hory in Jableh. I can only hope that the protests spread to additional areas of Aleppo because this regime is likely to remain in power as long it knows it can count on the merchants’ support in this city.

At the same time, the opposition remains so deeply divided that it is completely unable to organize any kind of coherent structure that would give the Syrian people a viable alternative to the Assad regime. One protestor said it eloquently,”There have been a dozen conferences and statements in several cities but nothing to show for it. Meanwhile we continue to go out and take the bullets.” One example of this phenomenon was the announcement published on August 29th of a list of 94 members of a national council. However, “Many of those on the list immediately disassociated themselves.” The disorganization and turf battles that are hindering the opposition at a time when people are giving their lives for freedom are simply inexcusable. The poor organization and disunity among the opposition only strengthen the hand of the Assad regime as it continues to crush dissent through a relentless campaign of mass arrests, brutal torture, and massacres. http://syrianrevolutiondigest.blogspot.com/2011/09/psyops.html  http://www.economist.com/node/21528320?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/ar/cantheygetittogether

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