Skip to comments.Syrian rebels prepare for bloody Ramadan face-off
Posted on 07/21/2012 3:18:21 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
While the rest of the Muslim world prepares for a Ramadan of fasting and festivities, in Syria, opposition fighters are gearing up for a month of fighting against the Bashar regime - a battle each side believes will bring an end to the other.
This will be a very special Ramadan in Syria, 28-year-old Waleed al-Homsi* nods pensively. By the end of this month, everything will be fine. No more revolution, no more Assad. A new Syria will be born.
Speak to any anti-regime activist like Waleed, and he or she will tell you the same thing. Riding a wave of euphoria following the death of Defence Minister Assef Shawkat, the rebels are convinced that they will emerge from this Islamic holy month free from the Assad regime.
The regime, no doubt, is expecting a victory of its own. Ramadan 2011 saw the armed forces intensify their campaign against dissidents, resulting in a nationwide offensive that the opposition dubbed the Ramadan Massacre. But this year, an even bloodier holiday is expected, 16 months into the increasingly violent conflict. . . .
(Excerpt) Read more at france24.com ...
Let me get this straight once again. Muslims are killing muslims as they usually do. Okay.
” Muslims are killing muslims as they usually do. Okay. “
Remember during the Iraq war when the Chattering Class raised such a howl about “We need to stop fighting during Ramadan, so as not to offend Muslim Cultural Sensitivities”??
Evidently, Muslims ain’t all that ‘sensitive’....
Sunni or later Shite happens.
In the Muhammadan world, the "holy month" of Ramadan has always had a particularly bloody history.
It is the anniversary of the original Muhammadan taking of Mecca.
It was also the holy month in the pagan religion of Mecca before Muhammad. The Muhammadans took advantage of this to take the city.
All Muslim "holy cities" are stolen from someone else. Even Mecca itself.
-——as they usually do-——
No, the events of the year and especially in Syria are not usual and for the world of Islam are actually unique. There is no historical equivalent for the masses to rise and overthrow the leader be he a king or Emir or President.
All of the countries experiencing the turmoil are finally throwing off the bonds of colonialism and the resulting transitional governmental failure and strongman imposed order.
History is a process, not an event.
The current process began in 1918 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire and WWII with the changes in North Africa. The western powers imposed order that became corrupt and is being overthrown by the people.
Understanding requires a very long view of at least a hundred years.
What you say is true, but the West intervened in the long Ottoman domination of non-Turkish Arabia. Something else would have happened to challenge that.
History is a long sequence of more or less causally related events. Sure, Churchill screwed up by giving so much to the house of Saud. But, there would not have been uninterrupted peace in an undisturbed Ottoman empire, either.
Like Somalia did? Turned out well for them, didn't it?
I'm looking forward to seeing what happens under "Islamic" government in the various "Arab Spring" countries.
This is the rebels’ Tet offensive. It’s a media offensive that hopes to generate mass surrenders by demoralizing its opponents. The problem is that it’s hard to demoralize an opponent that (1) has the armor, artillery and air assets and (2) sees a Sunni victory leading to the liquidation of the Alawite community. Despite the talk of massacres, the 10K dead figure (including all Sunni fighters) over 16 months is a lower death rate than the annual death rate for Iraqis during the American occupation which peaked at around 30K a year in the 2006/2007 time frame.
The border post escapades are a re-run of Lang Vei, during which the North Vietnamese forces overran a Montagnard camp partly staffed by 2 dozen Green Berets, just so they could claim they could win a battle.
I fully expect Sherman-esque reprisals in the future. Districts that support the guerrillas will be given some amount of time to evacuate, after which those areas will be burned to the ground, the way Sherman burned Atlanta.
There’s a myth that starving people have nothing to lose and are therefore more motivated to fight. In reality, starving people don’t have the energy to fight - all of it is devoted to scrounging for food. The whole point of the burning of Atlanta was (1) to warn others about the cost of supporting the Confederacy, (2) to strain the resources of the Confederacy by forcing them to divert resources towards feeding and housing the refugees from Atlanta and (3) to force the Confederate leadership to factor into its calculations the cost of housing and feeding future refugees from other cities burned to the ground when figuring out if they had the resources to continue fighting the Union armies. Burning districts that house and feed enemy combatants is a lot like wounding enemy fighters instead of killing them - it simultaneously takes up enemy resources and demoralizes them. (And if the enemy abandons its wounded or kills them to prevent their capture - that’s even more demoralizing).
For those who are not entirely clear on the demographic situation re the combatants, the 25% of population that is Alawite or Christian is fighting the 60% of the population that is Sunni Arab. The Kurds and the Druze are staying out of it. If they were equally trained and equally armed, the Sunni Arabs would probably win. However, the units with the most training and weaponry are Alawite units along with a smattering of Christians. In addition, Alawites have always gotten along well with Christians in Syria, whereas their relationship to Sunni Arabs was a lot like the relationship of Jews to European Christians for most of antiquity - simultaneously scapegoat and target for pogroms.
Why are Christians backing Assad? The rebels are giving them a preview of the future they face under Sunni Arab rule:
On July 11, Maximos al-Jamal, a Greek Orthodox priest, negotiated a deal between armed rebels and the army to evacuate 63 Christians caught between the crossfire in the bombed-out city of Homs, The Associated Press reports. Al-Jamal feared that rebels were keeping Christians in the city as bargaining chips while army attacks intensified.
“Gunmen have told the besieged people that if you go out of these areas, we will die,” al-Jamal told The Associated Press.
Thousands of Christians lived in Homs before Syria’s uprising began early last year. Today, however, Al-Jamal said that only 100 Christian civilians remain, the result of which is more likely contributed to rebel attacks against Christians than the army’s bombardment of the city.
“The armed [rebels] in Syria [have] murdered more than 200 Christians in the city of Homs, including entire families with young children. These gangs kidnapped Christians and demanded high ransoms. In two cases, after the ransoms were paid, the men’s bodies were found,” a priest in Homs told Barnabas Aid.
The evacuation of Christians from Homs is only the latest occurrence in a mass exodus of Christians from Syrian cities. In June, nearly 10,000 Christians fled Qusayr after being given an ultimatum to leave the city by a rebel commander, reported Barnabas Aid. The threat was reportedly echoed in the city mosques: “Christians must leave Qusayr within six days, ending Friday (June 8).” Rebels, however, denied the accusations, claiming that Christians began fleeing months earlier when the army shelled the city.
———History is a long sequence of more or less causally related events.———
I’ll accept that as one description of what I Consider as process.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.