Huge protests defied a new wave of repression in Syria this week, as the regime sought revenge for military defections.
An eyewitness from Hama, a city at the heart of Syria’s four-month revolt, spoke to Socialist Worker.
She said, “Syria is changing very fast. Everywhere there are discussions, especially among people who were not part of the huge demonstrations.
“The movement is spreading and deepening.
“The sight of Syrian army tanks on the streets of Hama is still hard to accept. We feel like our army has become an army of occupation. This has changed people’s mentality, especially among those who were suspicious of the opposition movement.”
Last week Hama’s attorney general, Adnan Muhammad al-Bakkour, became the highest-ranking defector from the regime so far. The news followed reports of soldiers abandoning their posts in Rastan and Damascus.
The European Union has announced trade sanctions on Syrian oil and US secretary of state Hilary Clinton has called on the “international community” to step up the pressure.
But most Syrian protesters oppose the idea of Libya-style Western intervention. The deepening social revolt shows the way forward.
“In every living room and street corner people are talking about what we want after Assad is overthrown.
“Syria is alive with discussion and everything is up for debate about how to take the movement forward and how to win over more of the disaffected soldiers.”