More Shameful Utterances from the Shameful Ass’ad Abu Khalil
This little tidbit appeared on Ass’ad Abu Khalil’s blog;
Comrade Amer sent me this: “Look how propagandistic they can be, even when the claim is patently false and everybody knows it. When did they ever withdraw due to the loss of civilian life?”
It’s careless and stupid remarks like these that open the door to a well-earned chastening by people who know way, way better. Commentators on the Left have made a name for themselves for being intellectually-lazy tin-foiled conspiracy nuts when it comes to Syria, but this little post, which I’m sure Angry Arab didn’t think twice about posting, just illustrates how pitiful and shallow the Left’s knowledge of events in Syria are. To sophisticated, knowledgeable analysts, the FSA’s role in protecting Syrian civilians has made it a text book example for all Arab revolutionary movements, especially when compared to the disgraceful actions of the Assad regime. Abu Khalil’s beloved Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups would do well to learn from the example of the FSA.
Let’s begin with events in Homs, in March 2012. The Syrian army had been besieging Baba Amr for weeks. Despite changing their commanding general three times, all that the Syrian Army divisions had managed to achieve was the capture of a few streets in the neighboring Inshaat neighborhood. The army’s T-72 main battle tanks, still painted in their yellow desert camouflage, are extremely vulnerable targets to every tank division commander’s worst nightmare; RGP wielding Homsis out for a late-night tank-busting excursion.
In frustration, the army intensified its indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas. Heavy artillery and rockets were unleashed without regard for civilian casualties. It was during this time that the veteran American war journalist Marie Colvin and the photographer Rémi Ochlik are killed by artillery shells.
The FSA lacked heavy artillery. Their RPGs and machine guns were enough to stop the regime from conquering Baba Amr, but not powerful enough to allow the FSA to launch a counter attack. Everyday that went by meant hundreds more civilian casualties, and more misery for the 28,000 civilians trapped with little food, water and medicine. The international community proved yet again utterly impotent in stopping Assad’s war machine, and a previous French special forces mission to evacuate the remaining foreign journalists had failed.
What happened next was the Syrian equivalent to the British evacuation at Dunkirk in World War 2. Over days, 24,000 out of the 28,000 civilians in Baba Amr were evacuated, as were the foreign journalists. Refugees were evacuated to the nearby areas of Shamas, Joubar and the villages east of Baba Amr. On the final day, there was no bitter house to house fighting, the FSA withdrew in an orderly manner, with the last retreat covered by a mere seventeen rebels, who were brutally executed by the regime’s forces in the farms to the east of Baba Amr. The Syrian army exacted a terrible and ferocious retribution on the few civilians left in the neighborhood, but thousands of civilians are alive today who would not have been were it not for the FSA’s actions.
It wasn’t just in Baba Amr where the FSA’s protection and concern for the welfare of the civilian population contrasted with the regime’s indiscriminate brutality. In Houla, the site of a horrendous massacre by the regime’s shabihas militants, the terrified survivors fled to areas controlled by the FSA, who provided them with shelter and food, in contrast to the Assad regime which cut off water and electricity to the town once word got out about the massacre.
Time and again, the FSA has helped horribly brutalized civilians flee across Turkish, Lebanese and Jordanian borders to safety. Tens of thousands of desperate refugees would never have made it to safety in bordering countries were it not for the FSA.
Time and again, the FSA have secured the release of thousands of prisoners, randomly arrested and held by the regime, by releasing captured Syrian army officers. Not exactly the behavior of a group of bloodthirsty mindless savages, like the disgraceful Left would want us to believe. One wonders who “Comrade Ass’ad and Comrade Amer” would have looked to, to help gain their release had they been held captive by Bashar Assad’s shabiha militias.
And time and again, the FSA have provided the sole source of safety, food and shelter to fleeing refugees, unlike the Syrian regime, which to this day have not set up a single refugee camp, and in fact has itself repeatedly denied the Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations access to the hardest hit areas. When a demonstrator is wounded in Syria, they turn to the FSA for medical help (wounded demonstrators don’t dare go to state hospitals).
The Free Syrian Army has proven itself the most moral of all the Arab armed movements. Contrast the FSA’s record with the barbaric bloodletting in Iraq, or the inter-militia bloodbaths that the Lebanese engaged in, with wars being waged by both Christian and Muslim groups on members of their own religion. Or the airplane hijackings and airport attacks that became the staple of Palestinian armed groups (culminating in the horrendous killing of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games).
The International Crisis Group’s excellent latest report on Syria has stated that not one mass massacre of Alawites has been recorded in Syria to date. Massacres in Iraq and by the Syrian regime hardly make front page news anymore.
The Free Syrian Army sprang up in response to the Assad regime’s brutal and savage crackdown on demonstrators. For over a year, they have protected a revolution which would have been snuffed out otherwise. Want to see what a town without the FSA looks like? Look up Bayda, Baniyas. I suppose “Comrade Ass’ad” will still be claiming the thugs in baggy black pants were Kurds in Northern Iraq.