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Entries in civilian casualties (5)


Syria Special: Should We Treat Calls for a No-Fly Zone Seriously? (Zenko)

See also Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A New Dialogue?

Micah Zenko, writing for The Atlantic, explores the recent calls of protesters in the streets of Syri, for a "No-Fly Zone" and an international intervention, perhaps similar to the UN resolution and the NATO mission in Libya. Zenko, considering whether or not a no-fly zone would help the protesters, doubts that such a mission is in the international playbook. The most interesting assessment --- with which we agree --- is that there is little to no evidence that the Syrian military is using air power to attack protesters.

However, the one point that Zenko does not make is that the perception of the NATO intervention in Libya has stretched the meaning of the phrase "no-fly zone" for many in the Middle East. In Libya, only the first few days or weeks of the NATO mission concentrated on Qaddadi's air power. The rest of the mission focused on hammering Qaddafi's tanks, artillery, and rocket batteries. While Syria's military may not be relying heavily on its air force, Assad's loyalists have been patrolling, and shelling, the streets of Syria with heavily armored equipment. Perhaps, to the Syrian protesters on the ground who don't speak English as their first language, a "no-fly zone" actually mean a "blow up Assad's tanks" zone?

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Syria, Yemen (and Beyond): Child Martyrs and Broken Promises

1952 GMT: It may not look like much, but this video could be significant. The LCCS reports that this was taken in Kafar Zeta, Hama, and the cameraman holds sign with today's date. There have been reports of defections in the area, and gunfire can be heard in the city. The scene is otherwise quiet, suggesting that whoever is shooting is not shooting at protesters. Also, at one point tracer fire can be seen, suggesting that this conflict is more serious than the gunfire in the foreground. It appears that fires can be seen in the distance:

1949 GMT: Activists report a large evening protest in the Damascus suburb of Harasta:

1940 GMT: The video claims to show that Assad's supporters were actually bused to the event in Lattakia today. From the details in the video, there is no way of verifying that report:

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Syria Video Essay: The Military Assault on Homs

Homs is a city of 1.2 million people, larger than Washington DC and Boston combined. For weeks, it has been the target of a large scale military campaign. Syrian soldiers have defected, and have been hiding, and fighting, in the suburbs and rural pieces of Homs, but now, according to many eyewitness reports, and the claims of the videos below, it seems that the Syrian military, loyal to President Bashar al Assad, is targeting the entire city, with minimal discrimination and maximum malice. Communication has largely been cut, but activists are already reporting that at least 114 civilians have been killed and 2100 arrested this month alone in Homs.

These are the scenes of the shelling, and the aftermath, of the assault on Homs on Friday, October 21, 2011:

The Shelling

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Syria Special: US Ambassador Ford - "Protesters, Not Terrorists"

US Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, is no stranger to getting directly involved in affairs in Syria's Arab Spring uprising. Ford has repeatedly tried to put himself in the line of fire, in places like Hama, in order to stop what he has described a the brutal killing of civilian protesters. Two weeks ago, Ford traveled to Jassem, another town that has been embattled for some time.

Just this morning, Ford released this statement on his Facebook page, stating unequivocally that the people being killed in Syria are primarily unarmed protesters, and not terrorists. Ford also acknowledged that some Syrian soldiers have been killed, though he did not say who killed them, and he argued that the scale of the crackdown far exceeded the scale of the threat:

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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Rotting Bodies, Beaten Protesters

Ali Ferzat, a Syrian cartoonist who was beaten by masked gunmen earlier this week. 

See Also, Statement on Syria by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Social Media Revolution (Qualman)

Friday's Liveblog: Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The State of the Uprisings

1700 GMT: Disturbing video footage. A doctor is reportedly taking a bullet off a man's arm who was wounded during the clash in the Rifai mosque.

1655 GMT: Gaddafi's recruited African mercenaries have started leaving Libya.

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