Will Dara [Deraa] be Bashar’s Hama?

Exactly one month ago I wrote this blog post called Will Dara be Bashar’s Hama?

Over the past few days, Bashar Assad has virtually invaded the southern city, surrounded it, and sent in troops to fight house to house. It’s hard to get accurate information of what’s really going on down there, but reports and videos attest to a real bloodbath.

Here’s a video purporting to show Syrian tanks heading to Deraa.

It seems about high time that the international community put a stop to Assad’s crackdown.

Here is the blog post from March 25th:

The news from Syria seems to be getting worse and worse, as various sources are accusing Bashar Assad’s forces of the wholesale killing of pro-democracy protesters across the country, with specific focus on Daraa.

At this point it is worth remembering that in 1982, Bashar’s father Hafez committed one of the 20th Century’s worst mass killings in a town called Hama.

The attack on Hama, in which tens of thousands of Syrians died, has been described as possibly being “the single deadliest act by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East”.

It seems the apple really does not fall far from the tree.

But the young Assad is mistaken if he thinks he can get away with a massacre on the scale of Hama, and even on a much, much smaller scale. In 1982 there was no Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. Whatever is really going on inside Daraa, and other places in Syria, will eventually come out, and Bashar himself, and his officers, will pay the price. Over the past week I have seen footage come out of Syria that I have never seen the likes of before. In fact, footage out of Syria is something Israelis don’t ever see much of.

This for instance: images of protestors attacking a statue of Hafez Assad

What a disappointment Bashar has been. The young doctor, and Western-educated Syrian leader should have ushered in a new dawn for Syria; could have embraced change and modernity. Over the years however, he has done nothing but keep his hold on power, as impressive a feat as that is. There are consistent power and water outages in Damascus; the country is in financial stagnation; his army, while large, is no match for Israel, and his continuous interference in Lebanon has created a powder-keg that threatens to engulf the entire region in war.

Well done Bashar. Now your people will hold you to account. One thing is for sure, Syria will never be the same. The Syrian people have broken the barrier of fear that Hafez Assad, and his son Bashar have worked so hard to keep in place.

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