For months, Bashar al-Assad has been claiming that the violence racking his country has been due to terrorists and outside forces conspiring against his regime, and that he's been dedicated to reforming but for the ongoing violence.
Just today, Assad's regime has claimed that terrorist forces were responsible for the shelling in the city of Homs, which has resulted in significant numbers of civilian casualties.
I know that's complete nonsense. Everyone else knows it's complete nonsense, but now we appear to have photographic proof that this is nonsense.
US Ambassador Robert Ford posted photos to Facebook indicating military units deployed against Homs, including artillery units arrayed for an assault. The photo on top was released by the US State Department and indicates artillery units arranged for a barrage against a target. You can tell that it's artillery because of the shadows extending from the vehicles.
The U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, on Friday said he posted satellite imagery on Facebook to show proof of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces attacking residential neighborhoods.At least 300 people are believed to have been killed in Assad's assault on Homs in the past week, and the body count continues rising as his loyalists dig in for the long haul.
Ford, speaking to NBC News from Paris days after the Feb. 6 closing of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, said shelling by Syrian forces was “just horrific and we want that government violence to stop.”
Ford called Syrian government claims that terrorists are shelling Homs “ridiculous.” (The city sometimes is referred to as Hims in English.)
The commercial satellite image on Facebook, titled "Security Operations Escalate in Hims," is dated Feb. 6 and has labels pointing out burning buildings, smoke, impact craters, military vehicles and armored vehicles.
The western Syrian city of Homs, where opposition to Assad is strong, has endured a week of bombardments that have killed dozens of civilians and drawn condemnation from world leaders.
"I hear the devastating stories about newborns in Homs dying in hospitals where electricity has been cut and when we see disturbing photos offering proof that the regime is using mortars and artillery against residential neighborhoods, all of us become even more concerned about the tragic outcome for Syrian civilians," Ambassador Robert Ford wrote in a note accompanying the satellite image on Facebook.
The violence continues across the country, and it appears that rebel forces managed to kill a Syrian general.
Meanwhile, another UN Draft Resolution was heading for consideration at the Security Council, but one has to wonder whether it's futile given Russian and Chinese obstinacy and protection of Assad's brutal regime. Saudi Arabia is circulating this draft, and it's very much like the one that Russia and China vetoed last week.