The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has deployed government forces to the Northern coast of Syria. Reporting from Guvecci, Nick Meo asseverates that the previous day more than 50 rebel Syrian soldiers were spotted fleeing after a 500 government soldiers ambushed them from their homes. As one of the rebel commanders would retort, the government soldiers appeared to be on drugs since they would not fall for a bullet. Though earlier on accused of heinousness, the government soldiers continued their search for the rebel soldiers in the Idlib province where witnesses have since reported finding beheaded bodies on the streets and severely wounded people unable to reach hospitals. Idlib province is believed to the stronghold of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Notably, even as at least 4000 people are believed to be trapped in their villages, the Red Cross has been denied passage into the region on security grounds. While talking to the Sunday Telegraph the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokesperson, Sean Maguire, said the access was denied given the security situation though the ICRC could aver that. Omar al Homsi, an FSA leader, apart from alleging seeing a tanker smashing bodies, admitted overhearing one Syrian army officer complaining to a commander that his division could not follow orders of using the “3 km range” rockets on the rebels. It is also feared that the army must have massacred a Kurim village. Though calm has since returned to several villages, the army still controls roads and towns. Nonetheless, there are accusations of the army attacking some villages. Fifteen government soldiers are also suspected dead. Again, some people have reported that for a month now, 100 people die daily because of the attacks. The attacks have stirred demonstration across major and minor cities.
If the allegations by the FSA soldiers are anything to go by, then I am of the opinion that that international community should come to the rescue of the affected Syrian villages. It is also disturbing that besides reports that the rebels are not trained in heavy machinery which limits their capabilities of using such machinery to defend themselves, the Syrian president still went ahead to use rockets and machine guns for the attacks. I am specifically perturbed with the usage of an army that has always made headlines on corruption and lack of leadership claims (Cordesman, Nerguizian, and Popescu, 177) on a rebel group that inhabit villages with other Syrian civilians. However, I feel that there is a misunderstanding concerning the passage of ICRC into the villages considering BBC on 1st March reported that the ICR had been allowed into Baba Amr; Mark Neo’s article is dated 3rd March.
Cordesman, Anthony H., Nerguizian, Aram, Popescu, Ionut C. Israel and Syria: The Military Balance And Prospects Of War. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2008. Print.
Neo, Mark “Syria’s Desperate Rebels Flee New Northern Offensive By Assad’s Army.” The Telegraph. 3 Mar. 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.
“Syria Rebels Leave Besieged Baba Amr District Of Homs.” BBC. 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.