Syria Descends …

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 25 2011 @ 10:05am

These scenes were unimaginable two months ago (although this Youtube has not been verified, so caution). In the restive town of Deraa, the son follows the hideous path of his father:

"The minarets of the mosques are appealing for help. The security forces are entering houses. There is a curfew and they fire on those who leave their homes. They even shot at water tanks on roofs to deprive people of water," he said. Al Jazeera is unable to confirm the reported deaths. Thousands of soldiers swept into the town in the early hours of Monday, with tanks taking up positions in the town centre and snipers deploying on rooftops, witnesses said. "Bodies are lying in the streets and we can't recover them," one activist said, explaining that they have little idea of the total number of casualties…

Al Jazeera's correspondent said that the events on Monday marked a change in methods by security forces. Up until now, she said, security forces have cracked down in reaction to protests. But the flood of troops into Douma and Deraa had come in the absence of any demonstrations.  "Today, we're seeing a different tactic with security forces sweeping the towns," she said, noting reports of house-to-house searches, arrests and random shooting coming from both towns.

The NYT reports:

Bodies were in the streets, but snipers on rooftops prevented residents and medical personnel from retrieving them. “The army forces have invaded the city of Dara’a,” one resident said breathlessly as he filmed footage Monday morning. “They are heading toward the center of the city.”

So we have a fully fledged unprovoked military attack on civilians in their homes. How long before we are informed it is a genocide? And long after that will it be before the glaring precedent of Libya comes back to haunt NATO?