As the UN dithers over whether to take action against the brutal repression of Bashar al-Assad, with Russia set to veto any resolution, the mass killing at the hands of the Syrian regime goes on. And on. And on.
Emad Mahou, an activist with the Syrian Revolution Co-ordinators Union, today revealed 18 more people were killed by the security forces in Zabadani, close to Wadi Barada, following heavy bombing in the Barada Valley. Among the victims is a 12-year-old girl. He said the assault was carried out by the Republican Guard, commanded by Bashar al-Assad’s feared brother Maher.
This afternoon, Emad called for the West to step up the pressure on Assad, saying the people of Zabadani are “waiting for them to help us”, and that, though the town was under the control of the Free Syria army, without Western intervention “as soon as possible”:
“We are waiting for them to help us, to put some more pressure on the system. We need help to get free from this regime. They are killing us very day, they are bombing us. A few months ago they were shooting us, now they are bombing us with tanks. Maybe tomorrow they will bomb us with aeroplanes…
“Zabadani is liberated. There is no army inside Zabadani, there are no security [forces] inside Zabadani. It is a liberated city and the Free Syrian Army hold the city till now but we are afraid of any invasion from the regime. We cannot fight them forever… we will run out of bullets, we will run out of rockets. We need help.
“We need help from Europe from the the US. We need a no-fly zone, we need them to help us as soon as possible, we can’t stand alone.”
He also said:
“A huge, huge number [of troops] belonging to the Republican Guard were invading the valley of Barada, Wadi Barada, with tanks and they were bombing two cities, Basemah, and the second is Deir Qanoun…
“There are around 11 houses [which] fell down to the ground on the heads of their residents. After five or six hours there were negotiations between the army and the civilians there. They [the army] said get out and take your martyrs and wanted men from the ground. When they got out to take them they [the army] started to shoot them.
“Members of the Free Syrian Army started to fight with the Republican Guard in the area called Ashrafiet al-Wadi… Members of the Free Syrian Army had a big fight with the Republican Guard and kill about 20 of them and destroy a tank.
“We don’t know why they [the Republican Guard] are in the area right now but you can say all the people here are against the system. People go out to protest, to topple the regime, to say we want the regime to leave.”
Listen to Emad’s plea for help:
“The repression is so severe that detainees are stacked alive and kicking in shipping containers and disposed off in the middle of the sea.
“It is so bad that they’ve invented a new way of torture in Aleppo where they heat a metal plate and force a detainee to stand on it until he confesses; imagine all the melting flesh reaching the bone before the detainee falls on the plate.
“It is so bad that all demonstrators have opted for armed resistance. They know it is about survival now, not about freedom any more. This needs to be highlighted: Syrians are fighting for their lives now, not for freedom.”
People buried alive in shipping containers, tortured on hot metal plates, protesters murdered in hospitals, protesters gunned down and bombed… Something needs to be done. And soon.
• Syria: When will the West act? – Shamik Das, January 2nd 2012
• Syria ‘safe havens’ point to growing likelihood of civil war – Alex Hern, November 25th 2011
• A Syrian civil war is becoming ever more likely – Alex Hern, October 27th 2011
• Syrian government uses hospitals against protesters – Alex Hern, October 25th 2011
• Syrian Uprising: YouTube clips show continued demonstrations after Hama massacre – Daniel Elton, August 1st 2011
• Syria, where innocence is no defence – Dominic Browne, June 1st 2011
• No easy path to democracy for Syria – Shashank Joshi, March 30th 2011