Today In Syria: Spotlight On Homs

Nov 29 2011 @ 2:07pm

Caitlin Fitzgerald worries that the embattled city is becoming "Hama in 1982 in slow motion:"

[P]eople all over Syria have risen up – and the center of the fight this time seems to have settled on Homs. In this respect, Homs parallels Hama in 1982: it is the center of resistance for its generation, and the place bearing the brunt of the regime's response. … Of the estimated 3,500 protesters killed by the security forces so far, more than 500 have been in Homs (note: the Syrian opposition puts the number killed at 4,200 with fully 1/3 of those killings being in Homs), with many more missing – whether imprisoned or dead only the regime knows. At that rate, it would take ten years for Homs to match the lowest casualty estimates for the Hama massacre, but numbers aren't the only basis for comparison. The point of the scorched earth policy in Hama was not the number killed or tortured or arrested. It was about making an example.

She follows up on the cross-Assad similarities here. The BBC takes an in-depth look at how Syria's neighbors and trading partners are reacting to his repression. Walter Russell Mead thinks Assad is reinflaming Sunni-Shi'a antagonism, while Rime Allaf argues Syria is well-positioned for a democratic transition after the fighting ends. One might imagine this huge crowd in Homs would agree. A newly found video documents the torture of protestors on the streets of the Deir Ba'Alba area:

Finally, this man appears to have been murdered in yesterday's episode of the ongoing Homs crackdown: