Despite more than 100 being killed by the Syrian military in Homs last night, hundreds came out to protest accross the country - as these youtube clips show.
If President Bashar Al-Assad is determined to shoot his way out of trouble in Syria, it looks like death toll will rise much higher than the 100 killed by the army in the city of Hama yesterday or the more than 1,500 already killed in the country’s uprising.
Thousands of Syrians have came out onto the street in response to last night’s massacre. Via Syrian Revolution Digest, come these youtube clips. From the main port city of Lattakia in the north of the country, where chanting appeared to be led by a young boy:
From the capital Damascus:
And in Homs :
If opposition to the regime continues to come on to the streets, in spite of further killing of protestors, the death toll could seriously mount towards the ten thousand killed by Assad’s father when putting down an uprising in 1982. There are strong stuctural factors keeping the Assad regime in place. As Left Foot Forward contributor Shashank Joshi put it in this today’s Independent:
“The Assad dynasty’s strength is rooted in decisions taken long ago by the occupying French, who built up Syria’s Alawite sect after the First World War as a counterweight to the Ottoman-backed Sunni majority. Alawite officers dominated the military from the 1960s…
“Syria has therefore followed an entirely different trajectory than Libya or Egypt. Its army is neither fractured (like Gaddfi’s) nor independent (like Mubarak’s), and is therefore both able and willing to act with overwhelming force against compatriots. 70 percent of Syria’s full-time soldiers, and 80 percent of officers, are Alawite…
“The Shabiha, an Alawite militia, has also been a key repressive tool. The consequence of transforming Syria’s military into a confessional militia is that its commanders see little future in a post-Assad Syria. And in fighting for their institutional survival, they fight hard.”
UPDATE: Here is Left Foot Forward contributer Frank Spring on Russia Today, commenting on the situation in Egypt and Syria. For Frank, the critical moment in Syria will come when Sunni conscripts walk away from their Alawite officers in the army. Watch:
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