Following President Bashar al-Assad’s televised speech to the Syrian Parliament denying his regime had anything to do with the massacre in Houla, a group of Free Syrian Army rebels hit the Syrian Army, killing between 80 and 100 in confrontations ranging from Damascus to Idlib province.
Al-Assad did not personally go to Parliament, but sent a video in which he said that only “monsters” would have carried out such a massacre, and his troops are not monsters. The United Nations monitors examination of the scene, however, turned up ample evidence that the attack at Houla was carried out by a combination of tank shelling and close-contact killings with bayonets or knives and guns, which the monitors said were carried out by militiamen loyal to al-Assad.
The Syrian government, through their state news agency, acknowledged the deaths of 30 security personnel.
The Syrian Free Army said that the regime’s continued attacks on civilians voids their agreement to abide by the terms for the ceasefire agreed to with U.N. envoy Kofi Annan. A troop pullback and removal of tanks and artillery from towns and villages was the first requirement of the ceasefire, but al-Assad refused to do that.
The Annan plan is dead and there is no Plan B. Russia and China had finally come on board for the Annan plan, but it may be too late for even them to do something. They are still resisting any new sanctions or intervention with Syria, and Russia, like Iran, is ignoring bans on arms sales to Syria’s government. Al-Assad continues to claim that he is protecting Syria from foreign terrorists, and compared the leveling of the neighborhoods in Homs and the massacre in Houla to a surgeon removing a cancerous growth to save the life of the patient. That’s what 13,000 Syrians are to him – a cancer.
If he is trying to outdo Daddy, we can expect another 17,000 Syrians to die for his delusion that Islamists are trying to overthrow him. He cannot and will not admit that the ordinary citizens of Syria wanted reform and he took too long to take action on his promises of 15 months ago