While most Americans are largely ignorant about what is happening in the news around the world, let alone the political happenings here in their own country, the British publication The Telegraph announces almost by accident that the nation of Syria has descended in recent weeks into bloody civil war to include infantry, militia fighters and tanks.
Reporting no doubt from a bar stool in a seedy tavern in Beruit, Lebanon, Telegraph reporter Ruth Sherlock reports:
After five days of intensive battles, dozens of government tanks, along with armoured vehicles and infantry pulled back from the town of Zabadani following what was said to be a ceasefire agreement with opposition militias.
But the insurgents heralded the move as an unprecedented victory, claiming Zabadani to be the ‘first free town in Syria and a haven in which to build and strengthen their troops, as Benghazi became in the Libyan uprising.
I must admit I was largely ignorant myself of the latest occurrences until an U.S. Army Officer of my acquaintance who is readying his team for deployment recently hinted that I should pay attention to the goings on in that country. I was shocked to learn that there was a tank battle in the region, and even more surprised that it has been going on for over five days now; and this without any mention at all from much of the main stream media here in America.
Sherlock continues her report by quoting militia troops on the ground in Zabadani.
“A lot of soldiers have refused to obey orders, and tried to escape,” said a resident, who gave his name as Zean al-Zabadani. “Many of them have been killed. We are going now release the soldiers from Bashar al Assad’s prison grip and help them to escape.
“But this is a tenuous safety. We are frightened that they will bomb us from the air, or try again to retake the town. We need international help to make this a real safe zone”.
While the residents of the small mountain town await the possibility of renewed ground or air attack, many there are hopeful that there will be some kind of ‘buffer zone’ provided for by the militaries of Syria’s neighboring countries, said Sherlock. Fat chance of that since Syria’s neighbors in the region have had their own problems dealing with the so called, “Arab Spring”.
See the Telegraph’s full story at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9026222/Syrian-town-to-become-hub-of-armed-resistance.html
This report from the Telegraph doesn’t come completely out of the blue, even though the story has largely been ignored here in the US. The Telegraph has gripping video of violence in the streets as Arab League observers watch government soldiers attacking unarmed civilians with sniper fire.
Another video apparently shows insurgents destroying a tank.
On the 12th of this month The Telegraph reported the death of the first Western journalist to have been killed in the violence in Syria. Gilles Jacquier of France was killed by a mortar in the contended city of Homs while another camera crew caught the attack on video tape.
The French journalist Jacquier who had experience covering combat in Iraq and Afghanistan was being escorted by the Syrian military as a part of a larger media group in what was supposed to be a safe, pro-government area.
The latest news from Syria seems to indicate that the government there led by president Bashar Al Assad seems to be losing control of the protests and the insurgency that is following it. Assad has been defiant so far, giving open air speeches in public promising to crush the protests with military force rather than negotiating with the insurgents. Assad’s rule began over 30 years ago as a result of a coup.
Meanwhile, here in America, the media seems more interested in pointing out Romney’s millions in off shore accounts, his penchant for firing people and Newt Gingrich’s lack of a conservative record, his corruption as Speaker of the House and his talkative and bitter ex-wife.
President Obama and his Secretary of State have said little in regards to condemning the violence now going on in the Middle East. When they aren’t being mum about the people being killed, they are all too quick to praise the glorious Spring as a triumph of democracy.
I’d hate to see that kind of “democracy” spreading here in the streets of the United States.