Monday, 13 June 2011

Syrian Forces In Complete Control Of Jisr al-Shughour

Syrian troops now control the region around Jisr al-Shughour according to reports. As expected in crushing of any kind of rebellion,the military has been rounding up 100's of people from villages near the town.

Nearly 7,000 Syrians have already fled the region around Jisr al-Shughour, seeking sanctuary in neighboring Turkey, while thousands more are sheltering close to the frontier in rural areas just inside Syria, activists say.

At least three people were killed in clashes Sunday, state media reported. One Syrian soldier was killed and four other soldiers injured in the fighting, Syrian state television reported Sunday. The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said two gunmen were killed and "many others" were arrested.

State television said Sunday that military units had entered Jisr al-Shugur to "cleanse the national hospital from the elements of the armed gangs after disabling the explosives and the various TNT devices that these gangs planted on the bridges and roads."
Accounts from the Syrian government have sharply contrasted with reports from residents, who say there are no "armed gangs" in Jisr al-Shugur.

State TV also said Sunday that authorities in the town had found a "mass grave" containing decapitated and mutilated bodies of members of security forces killed by "armed gangs." SANA said there were 12 bodies.

Monday's wave of arrests followed an army assault on the northwestern town, with troops backed by helicopters and tanks regaining control one week after authorities said 120 security personnel were killed in fighting they blamed on "armed groups."

Some residents said the killings followed a mutiny, or a refusal by some troops to shoot protesters who had joined nationwide demonstrations calling for an end to Assad's rule.

Refugees from Jisr al-Shughour, sheltering on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, said the military was combing villages to the east of the town and arresting hundreds of men between the ages of 18 and 40, in a pattern seen in other military crackdowns since the unrest started in March.

SANA reported Monday that state TV "broadcast the confession of the terrorist, Anwar Nafe al-Dosh, a member of armed terrorist groups in Jisr al-Shugur, who narrated the details of the massacre committed against the police and security forces."

The report quoted al-Dosh as naming the "masterminds" of the "massacre" and saying they had beheaded 10 members of the security forces in what they called a "bloodbath for freedom."

People escaping from Jisr al-Shughour, said two mosques have been shelled by tanks and they have seen people dying trying to flee. the dead included women and children.

"This would be a relatively light death toll," one activist in Damascus said. "The shelling and firing have been indiscriminate and we have been fearing a higher death toll,"

Some Syrian groups claim that around 1,200 civilians have been killed. Add to that 300 soldiers killed in fighting and the death toll is much higher than what is being reported by state TV

Unfortunately due to ban on foreign journalist these reports cannot be corroborated but some army defectors talking to Sky Tv has talked about rebels setting up traps for the Syrian military, thus it can be safely assumed that the casualties on Syrian Army are far greater than what is being reported.

Relations between foreign countries and Assad is becoming worse than ever. There were wide spread orchestrated protests against Turkey. In one of these protest people tried to scale the Turkish embassy walls. Most of these people are Government paid protesters. French foreign minister in his statement has said that Assad has lost all right to rule the country.

In a statement released Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Syria's use of force against civilians and expressed particular concern about violence in Jisr al-Shugur.
"The Syrian authorities have an obligation to protect their people and respect their rights. The use of military force against civilians is unacceptable," the U.N. statement said.

Many have fled "the Syrian government's military offensive" in Jisr al-Shugur, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement condemning the violence Sunday. He also called on the U.N. Security Council to take a stand.

"I do believe it is time for the Security Council to make a clear statement of the kind that we're advocating calling on the Syrian Government to respond to legitimate grievances, to release prisoners of conscience, to open up access to the Internet and to cooperate with the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights," he told Sky News Sunday.

Strange aspect of the international communities reaction is the different standards being used for Libya and Syria. While in Libya it felt as if the western powers were waiting for a chance to bomb the hell out of the regime, in Syria they do nothing except give lip service.