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Entries in Liz Sly (3)


Syria 1st-Hand: Aleppo --- Hunger, Disease, & Little Hope (Sly)

Before the War --- Protest at Aleppo University, May 2011

Some blame the Free Syrian Army for starting a fight it couldn’t finish. Others blame the government for steadily escalating the use of force to try to crush the rebels. Many, like Awuf, blame both. “We are civilians trapped between the two sides, and they are using us like wood on a fire,” he said. “Both sides are wrong.”

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Syria Special: The Assad Regime's PR Campaign with British Journalists

Andrew Gilligan of The Daily Telegraph talks about his interview with Syria's President Assad

Amidst the continuing violence in Syria, with more than 60 people reportedly killed in the last 48 hours, we note a move by the Assad regime on the public-relations front.

Access by foreign journalists has been restricted since the uprising began in Syria, with those who do get in, save exceptions such as Nir Rosen and Anthony Shadid, closely monitored by government officials. This does not guarantee presentation of the regime line --- the recent despatch by Liz Sly in The Washington Post, mentioned in EA this week, is highly recommended --- but it does restrict coverage of the protests, clashes, and military operations.

However, President Assad and his advisors have apparently decided this is not enough, as tensions and casualties escalate in cities such as Homs and Hama. In what is far more than a coincidence, they have set out their case to two British journalists, Robert Fisk of The Independent and Andrew Gilligan of The Daily Telegraph.

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Syria Analysis: An Opposition Without a Leadership...or a Strategy...or Organisation (Sly)

That ordinary Syrians have braved bullets and tanks to take to the streets for 18 consecutive weeks seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad is an indicator of their movement’s resilience. Courage is one quality the protesters do not lack.

Just about every other ingredient that usually goes into building a revolution — organization, strategy or leadership — is still missing, however.

The nationwide uprising that erupted spontaneously on the streets of Syrian cities remains a largely ad hoc affair, inspired by the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, driven by anger and frustration with decades of dictatorship, but lacking a clear direction or structure beyond the unanimous demand that Assad should go.

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