Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Latest From Syria

The Guardian

" It is unclear who is responsible for the two small bombs at the gas pipeline in Deir Ezzor, writes Nour Ali in Damascus.

Rami Abdul Rahman, from Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the Guardian: "We condemn it whether it is the regime or protesters or is unrelated to the uprising."

Deir Ezzor, out in the far east close to the Iraqi border and on the Euphrates river, is a tribal city where protesters have been coming out in their thousands.

As in the central city of Hama, residents of Deir Ezzor say they have taken control of some areas after government forces backed out. The regime appears to have been reticent to clampdown on the city for fear of sparking conflict.

Authorities removed a statue of Hafez al-Assad last month to prevent it from being damaged and becoming a focal point of the protests. Many in the city, with an estimated population of 500,000, own weapons and some residents have been saying they would fight back.....

Residents said bomb explosions damaged two minor gas pipelines in eastern Syria, in what they said was the first attack on oil infrastructure since the start of the uprising, Reuters reports.

The overnight explosions occurred in a heavily guarded area in al-Tayana and Busaira regions east of the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor near the border with Iraq's Sunni heartland, said the sources in the tribal province, which has been witnessing large demonstrations denouncing Assad's autocratic rule.....

A spokesman for the Syrian embassy in Washington sounds as if he may have defected. Or has Ahmed Salkini just got a new job?

He sent a "cryptic" email to a number of news organisation, according to the Atlantic Wire. It said:

I have recently accepted an exciting job offer in the private sector... I leave my position during the most difficult, yet promising of times in Syria's modern history. I have been pained by every drop of Syrian blood lost. Still, I am certain of, and comforted by, the fact that Syria will emerge from this crisis more democratic, unified, freer, and stronger than ever.....

One cool Syrian demonstration--Deir al Zor, July 12th, 2011

Meanwhile, a clip from the central city of Homs from last Friday, appears to show an army officer instructing troops on how to shoot protesters:

شام-حمص-هذه هي التعليمات بعدم اطلاق النار-جمعة لا...

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