Chaos and violence in Syria
Events in Syria have gone from bad to worse with chaos and violence escalating in the town of Deraa over the last week leaving at least 40 people dead. Security forces have opened fire on the protesters, killing and injuring many. Government snipers fire from rooftops. Protests and violence has spread to areas surrounding the city of Deraa and beyond.
Anti-government protesters ripped down a poster of President Assad, something unthinkable just a few weeks ago in this police-run state.
Activist Wissan Tarrif said that all over Syria people are demanding more freedom and more liberty. He also stated that the number of people killed by security forces is higher than 40 and that brutal force has been used against the demonstrators.
President Assad said that security forces were not to fire on people using ordinary bullets, but admitted that “mistakes had been made.”
The people of Syria are no longer afraid of their government. They are angry. Syria is a country that is changing. For those not aware, the Arab world is changing and this deadly uprising in Syria is certain proof of that. In 1982, the Muslim Brotherhood revolted in the city of Hama, an uprising that was brutally suppressed by Syrian government forces leaving more than 10,000 people dead.
International condemnation of the Syrian government has followed. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged “maximum restraint” and reminded President Assad that Syria has an obligation to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens.
Washington is also concerned about the events in Syria. White House spokesman Jay Carney said “We strongly condemn the Syrian government’s attempts to repress and intimidate demonstrators.”
President Assad’s government has promised reforms, more jobs, salary increases and more freedom, but these promises have perhaps come too late and after too much violence against the demonstrators. Syria has been governed by emergency law since 1963 which takes away all constitutional and human rights.
Syrian human rights lawyer, Haitham Maleh, was quoted as saying that “Syria today is like a barrel of gunpowder, and may explode at any moment. What is happening in Syria cannot be tolerated anymore. We have been subjected to oppression, domination and suppression by the security authorities and we have unemployment exceeding 30%, while 60% of us live below the poverty line.”