Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baba Amr-Homs, Syria

Susan Brannon
24 February 2012
Life in Homs Syria

Danny Abdel describes life in Baba Amr is likened to a war zone.  "No one is safe here. They shoot at us everyday.  They come in armies in tanks, sometimes without us even knowing. I've lost 14 of my best friends, they all have been shot, bombed up or taken to prison and have come out dead...all of them."

Hundreds have been killed by rockets, snipers' bullets as the Syrian regime attempts to regain control of the country.  Homs is the third largest city in Syria and known as the capital of the Syrian revolution.There are 28,00 people in Baba Amr that are besieged and they cannot get out.  The regime will not let them out and are shelling the civilian areas.

 No one has been spared the violence that has reached high levels.  UN debated and failed to negotiate a resolution.  On February 6th a rocket blew into a local hospital.  It is said that the regime patrols the hospitals to arrest people who are injured.  They invade in the evening and go to the hospitals in the morning to find those who are revolutionaries.  The doctors in the hospitals are not allowed to treat anyone that has been injured in the violence.  This means any man, woman or child with their legs blown off, or bullets embedded in their bodies.

Many doctors are now treating people in homes without the proper medical equipment that is needed.  In a recent video journalist, Edith Bouvier pleads for her safe exit from the violent country after a shooting that destroyed both of her legs.  Her interview is from a room in someone's private home.

American war journalist Marie Colvin was located near Edith and was killed.  During Colvin's last interview from Homs, she said that, "It's absolutely sickening...shelling started at 6:30 in the morning...I counted 14 shells hitting this civilian area of Baba Amr within 30 seconds. There's a small clinic, you can't really call it a clinic.  It's an apartment that has been turned into a clinic.  You have plasma bags hanging from coathangers.  I watched a little baby die today.  Absolutely horrific.  A two-year old had been hit, they stripped it and found the shrapnel had gone into the left chest....This is happening over and over and over."

It is believed that the journalists were targeted because of the signals from using satellites for reporting. Colvin had reported that the regime is bombing any home and the home that she was in before was bombed the week before.

No one in Syria can understand how the international community allows this to happen and they continue to make pleas to the outside world to help them.  They are confused because when the revolution occurred in Libya, the International community stepped in. 

More than 7,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising.  They will not stop because if they do, then they will go door to door and gather up all the revolutionaries for mass execution. A Syrian activists said that the regime films the revolutionaries and knows who they are if they give up then things will become much worse for the people of Syria.  The activists put their very lives at risk by posting videos on You Tube in the attempt to gather international attention.

Hilary Clinton said, "If this was easy, it would have already been done." On January 30, 2012 the UN attempted to an agreement but failed by 13 for to 2 against. Russia attempted to change the wording to clarify avoiding any calls for military action. Their concern is that any vague wordings could be used by NATO for another Libya-style regime change.  Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja'Afari, responded to the agreement by stating  "I think that the European and American countries are making the same mistakes.  Syria will not be Libya and Syria will not be Iraq"

The humanitarian situation is at a crisis point.  Medical supplies and food are not coming in and the resources are limited. Oil needed for heating, babies milk, cutting off the power to phones and electricity and lack of medicine.   Aid agencies or others are not allowed to bring or travel around with supplies.  If anyone is found with medical supplies or food they will be shot on the spot no questions asked.  There are reports of human rights concerns, child torture, raping of women and children, targeted civilian murder, and the use of human shields.

As a reaction to this President Obama says, "I will continue to put pressure and use every tool available to stop the slaughter in Syria. It is imperative for the international community to rally and send a clear message to President Assad that it is time for a transition, a time to move on and a time to stop killing their own citizens."
For Syria, lets hope that they can do this soon.

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