Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Syrian revolt spreads to ruling Alawite tribes. Cities sealed. Executions in army

The popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad is still spreading. Tuesday, April 12, one of the Assad family's own Alawite tribes and the key Sunni city of Aleppo joined the movement demanding the president and his kin's removal. Assad fought back against the expanding threat to his survival by mobilizing all his military and security resources, including the loyal young thugs of the shabbiha gangs. They have orders to shoot to kill and not permit ambulances to collect the wounded. Tanks seal the most restive towns of Teraa, Bania,s Latakia and Hama.

Alawite unrest centers on the impoverished Knaan tribe centered in the village of Bhamra in the mountains of northern Syria. A second immediate danger to the regime comes from Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub, where for the first time more than 10,000 protesters marched. The Druze mountain inhabitants are up in arms. So too are the Kurdish towns of the north such as Kamishli and the Shammar tribes of southeastern Syria around the border town of Abu Kamal.

Damascus University has been under siege for four days, although security forces have not been able to breach it.