Feb 20, 2012
On February 14th, Syrian government forces fiercely assaulted the city of Homs. According to the Syrian Institute of Human Rights, two rockets were launched per minute on densely populated neighborhoods in this working class city of 500,000.
The past 12 days had left 300 dead, and thousands of people packed into shelters are scarcely able to survive.
For almost a year since the first demonstrations against the regime, the opposition against Bashar al-Assad has continued to grow. Repression has become more and more violent. At least 6,000 people are estimated to have been killed. The army has taken control of the entire country. Arbitrary arrests, violence and torture have increased.
The West’s embargo on Syrian oil is supposed to deprive the Assad regime of money, but, of course, the main victims are the population.
In cities where 70% of the population lives, bread is getting scarce and the price of goods soars, as does the price of gas and heating oil.
The U.N. and the Arab League dispatched some “observers,” who recommended that Assad accept the Arab League’s plan. The plan requires all military action to cease, with power transferred to some of the opposition groups against the regime.
The Syrian population is caught in the pincers between a desperate dictatorship, which continues to benefit from the support of the majority of the regular army, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – whose intentions are anything but humanitarian – and the Western powers, which have never ceased to pillage the Middle East for their profit. Today the big powers pretend they are concerned about Assad’s policy. But he is in power with their blessing, like his father was before him – doing their dirty work in this part of the world.