Socialist Worker

Syrian regime assault has backfired

by Simon Assaf
Issue No. 2294

Mutinies and defections in the Syrian army have grown since last week’s murderous assault on Homs—considered to be the capital of the revolution.

Hundreds of soldiers and officers have pledged to defend demonstrations and neighbourhoods from security forces and pro‑regime militias.

All this comes as the regime launches a new offensive on rebel heartlands across the country.

The West is still desperate to hijack the revolution—but victories are being won by the rebels.

Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, is slipping out of regime control. The daily demonstrations by students at the University of Aleppo have spread to middle class neighbourhoods and working class suburbs of the industrial city.

The attack on Homs has reignited demonstrations in the mainly Kurdish regions along Syria’s border with Turkey, as well as strikes in the capital Damascus.

These protests are becoming bolder and more frequent.

Hundreds of civilians are believed to have been killed in Homs during the “cleansing operation” following the assault on the Baba Amr neighbourhood.

Among the victims are Palestinian families who were taking refuge there.

It is difficult to measure the size and effectiveness of the disparate groups of soldiers who make up the Free Syrian Army, but they are growing in number.

More and more reports are emerging of troops walking away from battles or turning their guns on their officers.

In scores of videos posted on YouTube, officers and soldiers pledge to defend civilians and protect the unity of the country against sectarian gangs.

The gamble taken by the regime when it decided to destroy Baba Amr appears to have backfired.

The popular revolution in Syria has deepened—and the regime is becoming more desperate, more violent and more isolated.

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Tue 13 Mar 2012, 18:13 GMT
Issue No. 2294
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