Over the course of the Arab Spring, one of the more fascinating aspects of the revolutions has been the use of language and the evolution of slogans between Arab countries. Without a doubt, the central slogan of the Arab Spring has been “The People want the Overthrow of the Regime” (الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام). I’ll dissect important words of the slogan, because each word has its own story.
Assad’s forces in Syria have recently launched a ferocious offensive against rebel city Homs. (See here for al-Jazeera’s live blog of events in Syria). Ehsani, a blogger for Syria comment, suggested that prior to this Assad had only used 20% of his full military capability, and is only now deploying closer to his full might.
A few days ago a PDF started to circulate around the internet claiming to be a list of wanted suspects from various branches of the Syrian apparatus, dated 01/16/2012. The list, at 718 pages long, is an incredible insight into the mindset of Syrian security right now and who they are targeting. The document names informants (or possibly their pseudonyms) that collaborated with the security apparatus and the suspects that have been named by them; a large portion of the document details names of suspects, the informant who gave them up, and the “investigatory committee” (lajnat al-tahqiq) that was reported to.
I have attempted to blank out all names of suspects, informants, and locations, given the sensitivity of this information.
Many suspects are targeted by the regime for mere acts of speech. The following suspect is accused of “speaking over the anti-regime outlets Wasal and Sefa .. attacked the policies of the state, Mr. President and his father”. The suspect’s location and job is then described, then charges him with “inciting women to protest” and then names the informant that outed his behavior.
Others are targeted for refusal to cooperate with State security. The following suspect is a accused [...]
Yesterday al-Jazeera reported the defection in Syria of Sheikh Abdul Jalil al-Saeed, who was said to be the state appointed director of public relations for the Grand Cleric Ahmad Hassoun. Hassoun denied that al-Saeed was ever employed by the state office and claimed that in fact that they never had a public relations office.
Under pressure from Turkey and Qatar, Hamas has decided to completely abandon its Political Bureau in Syria. The Political Bureau has been in effective operation since 2001 and has become responsible funding and logistics for the organization. The decision comes after months of denials from Hamas regarding any decision to leave Syria. What’s more, according to the Wall Street Journal, Hamas has been quietly divesting from its various investments in Syria, which suggests that this move may not be temporary.
It appears as though most people are becoming increasingly aware of what is becoming a violent civil conflict in Syria. Both Hillary Clinton and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov have diagnosed the current situation as such. Given the brazen recent attack on the Baath Party headquarters in Damascus, the relatively quiet stronghold of Baath power in Syria, it is hard for one to avoid the fact that the Syrian conflict is changing in a drastic way.
Syrian activists say several rocket-propelled grenades hit a ruling Baath Party building in Damascus Sunday, not long before the Arab League rejected amendments from President Bashar al-Assad’s government to a plan that would end Syria’s deepening crisis.
The Local Coordination Committees activist network and several residents reported numerous explosions in the center of the Syrian capital. They said fire trucks headed to the area amid a heavy police presence. There was no immediate verification of the reports, and other eyewitnesses saw no signs of damage.
The Free Syrian Army, a group of dissident soldiers based in neighboring Turkey, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Free Syrian Army, formed by defectors from the Syrian armed forces, recently announced their establishment.
About MeNews producer. Blogger on politics and culture of the Middle East, specializing in issues of public diplomacy.
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