Monday, August 01, 2011

The Hama Rules In Action

Despite protestations from Bashar Assad's regime that they are engaging in all manner of reforms and that they're dealing only with saboteurs and foreign elements that are riling up an otherwise satisfied populace, his military continues the brutalization of the Syrian people.

And once again, the city of Hama comes under the gun. Dozens of people were brutally killed for standing up and protesting against the regime. Some estimates put the tally at more than 100, with the majority occurring in Hama. Welcome to the Hama Rules, Version 2.0.

The violence and brutality has finally gotten Russia's notice after weeks of ongoing violence; they're calling on Assad to curtail the violence.
Rights activists said 80 civilians were killed in Sunday's tank-backed assault in Hama , scene of a 1982 massacre. It was one of the bloodiest days of a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Tanks shelled a northeastern district of Hama on Monday, killing at least four civilians, two residents said.

"Moscow is seriously concerned by information about numerous casualties," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "The use of force against civilians and representatives of state structures is unacceptable and must cease."

A U.S. official gave a blunt assessment.

"The authorities think that somehow they can prolong their existence by engaging in full armed warfare on their own citizens," U.S. Press Attache J.J. Harder told Reuters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined a growing international outcry over the violence.

"Chancellor Merkel condemns in the strongest of terms the Syrian government's action against its own civilian population," government spokesman Christoph Steegmans said.
The EU is extending sanctions, but that will have little effect on Assad, who continues to receive economic and political support from the Iranians.

Despite the growing consensus that Assad has to stop the killings, there isn't consensus to act along the lines of the NATO mission in Libya.

I'm not sure why people think that things will calm down during Ramadan or that autocratic, despotic, or desperate leaders will curtail their crackdowns against protesters. Protesters in Syria have vowed large daily protests all through Ramadan, meaning that the likelihood of an escalated body count has gone up exponentially.

Rep. Denis Kucinich could not be reached for comment. Again.

Syrian forces have again launched attacks against Hama
, and more casualties are being reported.
The shelling resumed on Monday in the early hours of the morning as people were returning home from mosques where they had performed dawn prayers, according to residents and protesters. At least three people were killed, according to activists.

Obada Arwany, an activist reached by telephone, said that tanks had entered two neighborhoods, Al-Qousour and Al-Hamidiya, and bombed residential buildings there. One man died in his sleep when his house was bombed and another was killed by a sniper’s bullet as he was getting in his car.

“The city is like a ghost town,” Mr. Arwany said. “We were not expecting this at all. Hama is getting massacred.”

One protester was also killed in Deir al-Zour in northwestern Syria, according to the Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group that helps organize and document protests.

The simultaneous raids on several cities on Sunday came a day before the holy month of Ramadan began, a time in which Syrian activists have vowed to escalate their uprising with nightly protests. The scale of the assault and the mounting death toll underlined the government’s intention to crush the uprising by force, despite international condemnation and its own tentative and mostly illusory reforms ostensibly aimed at placating protesters’ demands.

No comments: