Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Robert Fisk: The people vs president Assad

Syria in turmoil as resistance turns to insurrection 

The Independent, Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Syrian protesters hold a national flag as they demonstrate in Hama, north of Damascus
AFP/GETTY IMAGESSyrian protesters hold a national flag as they demonstrate in Hama, north of Damascus
 
Syria’s revolt against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad is turning into an armed insurrection, with previously peaceful demonstrators taking up arms to fight their own army and the “shabiha” – meaning “the ghosts”, in English – of Alawi militiamen who have been killing and torturing those resisting the regime’s rule.
 
Even more serious for Assad’s still-powerful supporters, there is growing evidence that individual Syrian soldiers are revolting against his forces. The whole edifice of Assad’s Alawi dictatorship is now in the gravest of danger.
In 1980, Assad’s father, Hafez, faced an armed uprising in the central city of Hama, which was put down by the Special Forces of Hafez’s brother Rifaat – who is currently living, for the benefit of war crimes investigators, in central London – at a cost of up to 20,000 lives...

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