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spotted on facebook June 30, 2012 7:54pm pst

عاجل :: مدينة حرستا :: رؤية دبابة مع أربع سيارات شبيحة دفع رباعي على الشارع العام بحرستا يظن أنهم متجهين إلى دوما اللهم سلم سلم ...
Urgent:: City harasta:: see the tank with four cars shabeeha 4WD on main street at harasts town to always think they're God peace peace ... (Translated by Bing)

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9:16am pst, June 30, 2012 Reuters just posted this report. It is the first fruits of the UN's benign treatment of Assad in Geneva today:

Syrian forces push into Douma, residents flee

BEIRUT, June 30 (Reuters) - Syrian government forces pushed their way into Douma on Saturday after weeks of siege and shelling, and fleeing residents spoke of corpses in the streets
of the town near the capital Damascus.

The residents said hundreds of people were fleeing the town as government forces swept the streets in search of rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

They reported many bodies buried under the rubble of houses in the town of half a million people, 15 km (10 miles) from Damascus.

Bill Neely of ITV News is on the frontline and he is reporting that Assad in now using his air force to attack Douma. This is unprecedented in this conflict!

          Syrian helicopter dropping bombs on Douma - uploaded July 1, 2012

    Shelling Douma by Al-Assad Military Planes. Saturday, June30,2012

Here is an AFP report from this morning [9:30am pst]:

Syria violence kills 83, regime troops storm Douma: NGO

BEIRUT — At least 83 people were killed, mostly civilians, in violence across Syria on Saturday, and hundreds more were trapped in Douma as regime forces stormed the town in Damascus province, monitors said.

In the single most serious incident, mortar fire killed 30 civilians who were attending a funeral in the town of Zamalka, 10 kilometres (six miles) east of the Syrian capital of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said.

The Observatory did not give any further details on the Zamalka incident but published two videos from people on the ground.

The first showed several dozen people, mostly men waving Syrian revolutionary flags and shouting slogans as they accompanied the funeral cortege, when the picture was interrupted by an explosion.

The second, which could not be confirmed as being shot at the same scene, showed people running away from a cloud of dust that gradually dissipated to show numerous bodies lying on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Observatory urged the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to "urgently send medical teams" to Douma.

"The security forces have seized control of the main hospital in Douma," the Observatory said. "There are no doctors in the town, though dozens of wounded need urgent care."

        The Setup: UNSMIS was in Douma May 24th "opening dialogue with opposition"
A team of UN observers visited Douma, an opposition-controlled city 10kms north-west of Damascus, to initiate dialogue with opposition activists on the ground. This is first meeting of its kind in Douma. The purpose: to assist with mediation whenever possible and establish bridges to help build the space for a political process on the basis of Joint Special Envoy Kofi Anan's six-point peace plan.
"We want to get your guidance on all the priorities that we have to address," explained Martin Griffith, Deputy Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to the opposition.
Things don't look the same in Douma these days. How soon will the UNSMIS be back in Douma to see if their last visit did any good?

As I reported here, Assad's killing spree in Douma has been going on since Wednesday. In the wake of the UN's decision in Geneva to do nothing, he is quickening the pace of the killing. This is what happened to one family two days ago.

   Only One Male Survives, Regime Forces Slaughters Touma Family (06-28-12) Douma | Damascus |

The NY Times is reporting some background on this video:

A family is said to have been killed together in their basement.

After days of Syrian Army attacks, antigovernment activists reported heavy civilian casualties in Douma, a rebellious suburb of Damascus, including the gruesome killing of many members of a single family on Thursday. "One of the members was filming the army from the balcony of his building," said an activist reached by phone. The army, noticing the videographer, stormed into the building and shot to death the entire Tohme family, including children as young as 4 years old, the activist said.

This is the price some brave souls paid for the YouTube videos I posted that night! Here is an extremely graphic video of the family as they were found at the bloody war crimes scene.

     Assad's soldiers on their way to clear the "terrorists" out of Douma - Uploaded 6/30/2012

Syria | Douma |  Victim Dies From His Wounds as Residents Try and Fail to Get a Doctor

The victim Khaled Al-Ghazzawi, in the throes of death, appears in this footage uttering his last prayer and asking his friends to forgive him. His friends attempted to get him to a doctor but could not due to the continual shelling. Douma, Saturday, June 30, 2012
                                (6-30-12) Idlib | Standing in Solidarity With Douma


(06.30.2012) Kafar Sousah | Damascus, Syria | Amazing protests in support of Zamalka and Douma
      Another HUGE HUGE protest in Salamiyeh #Syria today funeral of the martyr Ali al-Fakhur

       Mortar attack on funeral outside Damascus kills 30   June 30, 2012
          The aftermath of the attack June 30, 2012
  Zamalka massacre - bodies of those killed by mortar shell at funeral 30 June 2012

              Al-Toub | Deir ez-Zor | Funeral Procession of Martyr Ahmad Fareej Al'ikla July 1, 2012

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can a "No-Fly" zone be far behind? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    It's hard to understand why they're bringing in jets and helicopters into the attack. It's as if they are daring the world -- and, especially Pres. Obama...with the election approaching -- to impose a no-fly zone....bringing Syria into direct conflict with foreign forces.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 01:16:23 PM PDT

    •  You would need a pretty sustained (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      and highly coordinated assault on Syria even to get to an enforceable no-fly. Syria has a large and effective air defense system. I would think a NATO campaign of the size of the Serbia operation would be needed to degrade the Syrian defense network. You'd have to take out command and control centers, missile batteries, and other anti-aircraft materiel. Not a simple operation. We saw recently what happened with the Turkish F4.

      The universe may have a meaning and a purpose, but it may just specifically not include you.

      by Anne Elk on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 01:59:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is a direct response (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Panacea Paola, 2020adam

      to twhat the UN did today and the inability of anyone [almost anyone*] to do anything to stop him.

      Turkey, b y moving armor and missiles up to the border and warming Syria that any of their military will be viewed as hostile iis in effect creating a safe zone near the border for refugees and the FSA.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 02:12:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No way. Not unless anyone has a death wish. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, Claudius Bombarnac

      Syria isn't Iraq or Iran. There's a big military ready to fight in a well populated country. If you're taking out AA batteries, your taking out villages you're claiming to protect. They'll just wheel equipment into the middle of cities and fight it out from there.

      I think the best we can hope for on that particular front is Turkey containing the bloodshed.

      •  Syria isn't Iraq or Iran (0+ / 0-)

        Their military is not all as powerful as Iraq's was prior to the Gulf War in '91. Probably not as potent as Iran's is, either. Nor as populous. YOu probably don't remember the build-up to the first Gulf War, and all the talk about Iraq having the 4th largest armed forces in the world. Syria wouldn't be any more able to resist us than Iraq was.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 01:28:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How does Assad survive this? (0+ / 0-)

    Is this some kind of perverted death wish on his part?

    “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” - Harriet Tubman

    by Publius2008 on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 01:19:00 PM PDT

    •  He's now damned if he does and damned (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      virginislandsguy, Egalitare, mickT

      if he doesn't. The Alawites feel that any compromise is death to them, and continued repression will bring greater international isolation. So, while Russia remains in support of Syria, the incentive is to keep pressing the attack on th rebels.

      Syria has an unpleasant future ahead of it. no great power will intervene directly. But the proxy war will keep heating up and a lot more people are going to die in a pretty badly damaged country. Even the elimination of Assad is, in my view, unlikely to bring peace. The Alawite regime is only one faction of a highly factionalized country. This is a very unhappy situation with few if any good options.

      The universe may have a meaning and a purpose, but it may just specifically not include you.

      by Anne Elk on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 01:54:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is Youtube having a problem... (0+ / 0-)

    ....all of the videos return error messages.

  •  Just like the US did (4+ / 0-)

    in Iraq and does in Afghanistan (and Yemen, and Somalia, and Sudan and . . .).

    After the US Govt. falls (for this abysmal behavior) can Assad not be far behind?

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 02:32:54 PM PDT

  •  This administration will go down in history (0+ / 0-)

    as the administration that could have saved millions from a holocaust.

    First the Sunni Muslims in Syria, then once the tide turns the Allawites in Syria, and who knows how many more in the region.

    Does anyone remember Obama saying that Assad will be gone in a year? Does anyone remembers how many times Hillary said "Assad has to go?". Does anyone remember Clinton's speech about the foundations built on sand two years ago that started it all?

    Like the spoiled Bush-Neo-cons, our arrogant Secretary of State office thought they had it all figured out, and never ran game plans beyond the few original rosy scenarios. The first step may have been much better than the neo-con step, but the follow up was dismal.

  •  We need to go in and show Assad who is boss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, protectspice

  •  Syrian Rebels Ransack Christian Churches (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    I'm posting this to show there are many sides to the Syrian story.

    Syrian Rebels Ransack Christian Churches
    June 27, 2012
    ...
    A photograph provided to us by a Christian woman in Homs, scene of some of the bloodiest clashes of the conflict, shows a member of the Free Syrian Army posing with a looted Catholic cross in one hand and a gun in the other while wearing a priest's robe.
    ...
    Another image shows a ransacked church in Bustan al-Diwan (Old Homs).
    ...
    The sight of NATO-backed rebels desecrating Christian places of worship is becoming a recurring theme.

    Back in March we reported on shocking video footage which showed Libyan rebels desecrating Christian and Jewish graves at a cemetery.

    The clip shows Libyan rebels breaking apart headstones while shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

  •   Syria: No to intervention, no to illusions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    An excellent report on the Syrian conflict

    http://mondoweiss.net/...
    Syria: No to intervention, no to illusions
    by Phyllis Bennis on June 30, 2012

    Fifteen months on, the short Syrian spring of 2011 has long since morphed into a harsh winter of discontent. Syria is close to full-scale civil war. If the conflict escalates further, it will have ramifications far outside the country itself. As former UN Secretary-General and current envoy of both the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan put it, “'Syria is not Libya, it will not implode; it will explode beyond its borders.”
    ...
    For those eager for analogies or counterparts, this isn’t Egypt or Libya, where opposition to the leader was overwhelming.  Despite his government’s history of brutal repression, Bashar al-Assad still enjoys significant support from parts of Syria’s business elites, especially in Damascus and Aleppo, and some in minority communities (Christian, Shi’a, parts of the Druse and even some Kurds) whom the regime had cultivated for many years.  The opposition was divided from the beginning over whether massive reform or the end of the Assad regime was their goal. It divided still further when part of the opposition took up arms, and began to call for international military intervention. The non-violent opposition movement, which still rejects calls for military intervention, survives, but under extraordinary threat.
    ...
    SECTARIANISM ON THE RISE
    ...
    THREATS OF U.S./WESTERN INTERVENTION
    ...
    SYRIA, RESISTANCE, ANTI-IMPERIALISM?
    ...
    ORIGINS, IMPACTS & CONSEQUENCES
    ...
    THE UPRISING

    There are at least five distinct forces at play in the Syrian uprising:

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