05 August, 2011

And this just makes me sick

The siege of Hama is part of a new government offensive to quell an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's authoritarian rule. Now in their fifth month, the protests have been gaining momentum in defiance of the military crackdown.

Hama, a city of 800,000 with a history of dissent, had fallen largely out of government control since June as residents turned on the regime and blockaded the streets against encroaching tanks.

But Syrian security forces launched a ferocious military offensive that left corpses in streets on Sunday and sent residents fleeing for their lives, according to residents.

In 1982, Assad's father, Hafez Assad, ordered the military to quell a rebellion by Syrian members of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood movement there. Hama was sealed off and bombs dropped from above smashed areas of the city and killed between 10,000 and 25,000 people, rights groups say.

Bashar al-Assad has sought to deal with the extraordinary revolt against his family's 40-year-dynasty through deadly force, but has also acknowledged the need for reform.

On Thursday, he issued two legislative decrees that will allow the formation of political parties alongside the Baath Party and enable newly formed parties to run for Parliament and local councils. Opposition figures dismiss the moves as tactics and insist they want regime change.

On Wednesday, Syrian tanks stormed Hama under heavy shelling, taking over a main city square. Activists said authorities have effectively imposed a news blackout on the city by cutting mobiles phones, landlines and internet.

About 1700 civilians have been killed since the uprising began in mid-March, according to tallies by activists.

6 comments:

Alessandro said...

Very interesting that you are interested in Syria and Hama - and that you know about the events of 1982. Syria is one of my 'specialty', I write about it and talk about it on news programs. I also think Beethoven's symphony no. 7 is one iof the greatest creations of mankind (who knows, maybe even best divine creations, since rumors suggest Beethoven was a god).

Katy Zei, Katherine Zei said...

Grazie per il suo commento! Ma... is Alessandro your real name? In quale parte del mondo ti trovi adesso?

Alessandro said...

Hmm, a Toronto, mi occupo di Medio Oriente e forse mi hai visto a CTV News o Sun News proprio a proposito di Siria, Libia etc. Infatti ho parlato proprio di Hama, qualche giorno fa. E ho una Ducati monster rossa, ogni tanto qualche ragazza mi ferma a Danforth per farmi i complimenti. Hmm, chi saro' mai...?

Katy Zei, Katherine Zei said...

Bwahahaha ciao Ale, come stai! Mamma mia Toronto mi pare piccola. Sto seguendo i UKriots adesso...

Alessandro said...

E' piccolissima; credo di avere qualche amico in comune con te su FB; infatti consocevo molti italiani, da Firenze, a Ryerson nel 1994. Anche la Toscana e' piccola. Divertiti con le riots:

Katy Zei, Katherine Zei said...

Ma va la??? Allora conosci il mio ex-marito, Leo Zei. Oppure Pando? Oppure l'Avvoltoio? :) Che ridere. Firenze รจ davvero piccola!!! The world is also small... but I wouldn't wanna paint it! ;) Ciao Ale ci vediamo.