Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Transitioning!

The mass murder in Syria continues, as funerals produce more funerals, and the Assads persist in their devilish ways.

Saturday 21, 2011

11 protesters were killed when security forces opened fire on 50,000 mourners streaming out of a cemetery in Homs.

Most merchants and shop owners in Homs observed a strike in protest of the killings on Friday May 20.

More than a 1,000 protester took part in an afternoon demonstration in the Damascene Suburb of Serghaya. Participants shouted slogans calling for toppling the regime and in support of the nearby communities of Madaya and Zabadani. Chants: “We don’t want Maher or Bashar, we only choose the revolution,” and “No to Assad, no to Makhlouf, after today there will be no more fear.”

Security officers also opened fire on protesters in Saqba calling for toppling the regime, leaving one confirmed fatality.

Another demonstration took place in the Damascene neighborhood of Al-Qadam with protesters calling for toppling the regime.

Sources estimate the number of Syrian refugees that have crossed to Lebanon at 5,000.

Sources affiliated with different Syrian opposition groups announced today that a conference to elect a transitional council will take place in Turkey by month-end. The goal is to provide an alternative that can be endorsed by protesters and embraced by the international community in the hope of facilitating international agreement on the need for regime change in Syria.



Official death toll figures provided by human rights organizations fall miserably short of reflecting the actual reality on the ground. Bodies are often snatched and buried in mass graves and activists have a hard time communicating with people from besieged and hard-hit communities, making verification of actual figures difficult. Moreover, the missing and the seriously injured are in the thousands, the fate of the detainees cannot be ascertained, and the experiences of the last few weeks have taught us, especially with the discovery of mass graves in Deraa City, that matters are much worse than actually reported. We have to bear this in mind whenever we read reports of casualties.


Tidbits & Highlights from Friday May 20:


The general plan in the Idlib Governorate was to march from different communities to Idlib City in order to create a Tahrir Square scenario. The security forces got wind of that, which is why they ambushed the different marches and sent army tanks into Jisr Ashoughour in a successful attempt to prevent the convergence of the different demonstrations in Idlib City. Had protesters managed to successfully implement their plans, more than 250,000 people would have gathered in downtown Idlib creating a nightmarish situation for the authorities. It is the success of Assad security forces and militias in preventing such convergences, through the use of lethal force, that is preventing the protest movement from gathering even more momentum. Assads security chiefs must realize this of course, which is why the use of lethal force will never stop.


In Idlib, near the village of Al-Mastoumeh, security forces opened fire on protesters killing over 30, and wounding dozens. But angry protesters still marched into the town of Areeha and set fire to the local Baath Party headquarters and other official buildings. Meanwhile, army troops and tanks rolled into the town of Jisr Ashoughour, and opened fire against unarmed protesters, killing many.


The city of Salamiyyeh with its mixed populations, including Sunnis, Alawites and Ismailis, witnessed massive demonstrations calling for toppling the regime. Here, ad in an attempt to cause communal rifts, security forces bussed in residents from nearby Alawite villages and had them stage pro-Assad demonstrations which ended up clashing with protesters. No word on casualties yet.


Security forces raided the headquarters of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, a Qamishly-based Christian organization that has been part of the Syrian opposition movement for over a decade and who took part in organizing the protests in Qamishly, confiscating all files and electronic equipment. Security forces also arrested dozens of Assyrian residents, including: Dr. Malak Jacob, Dr. Samir Abraham, Karam Dawle, Gabriel Romanos, Barsom Joseph, Ghandi Safar, Jacob Gharib.

Videos from Saturday May 21st
Homs / Al-Mreijeh: mourners chant “the people want to topple the regime”
Homs: protesters stand on top of an army tank and call for regime change.
Homs / Tal Al-Nasr: mourners come under fire as they stream out of the cemetery, 11 have so far been confirmed dead.
Homs / Tal Al-Nasr: A martyr
Homs / Tal Al-Nasr: protesters trying to retrieve a wounded comrade (watch to the end of 1st video + 2nd video)
Homs / Al-Khaldiyyeh: 50,000 mourners shout “the people want to topple the regime” “No to dialog, we don’t want neither Maher nor Bashar” “There is no God but God and Assad is the Enemy of God”
Homs: merchants and shop owners heed call for observing a general strike in the city.
Homs: security forces in civvies chant pro-Assad slogans, then they attack, beat and arrest protesters.
Damascus / Saqba: protesters gather from Saqba, Zamalka and Irbeen to chant “the people want to topple the regime” and “We are one hand.”
Deraa / Nahteh: protesters raise the Independence Flag as they chant in support of different Syrian communities under siege.
Idlib / Jisr Ashoughour: a funeral for the martyr Ammar Hamadeh. Security officers we are told, insisted on sealing the coffin to prevent people from examining the body.

Videos from Friday May 20

Homs / Fairuzeh Street: security forces kill a child
Homs / Bab Al-Sibaa: protesters chant against Assad and carry posters depicting him as like a Nazi criminal
Idlib / Al-Mastoumeh: protesters come under heavy fire, but they refuse to disperse, and keep encouraging each other to stand their ground and that security people will run out of bullets. They then pick up the dead and wounded, put them in the back of trucks and send them to hospital. The rest keep moving to the town of Areeha, where they set the local Baath headquarters on fire.

Idlib / Areeha: protesters arrive into town

Idlib / Areeha: Setting fire to the Baath headquarters

Idlib / Areeha: Transporting the wounded

Idlib / Talmens: a funeral, with mourners shouting “the people want to topple the regime”

Idlib / Ma’rrat Al-Nouman: security officers trying to disperse protesters using tear gas and water cannons. Army troops and tanks eventually march into the rebellious town.

Idlib / Banash: protesters chant: “leave, leave” “The Shabbiha are worthless” “Bashar is worthless”

Damascus / Darayyah: security forces open fire on protesters as they keep chanting “the people want to topple the regime.”

Damascus / Darayyah: security forces break into vending machines and stores to feed themselves, looting which official media blame on protesters. But the videos tell a different story.

Damascus / Al-Qadam: “the people want to topple the regime”

Lattakia: security and army troops fill the streets preventing demonstrations. This is the daily reality in Lattakia, a playground of the Assad clan that they have almost lost control over in the early weeks of the revolution. Military occupation is the only way they could control of it. Come to think of it, this is the only way they could keep control over Syria.


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