Syria: Without Turkey’s Backing Assad’s Days In Power Are Numbered
To make the brutal repression less visible, the Assad regime is not allowing any international journalists into Syria. The estimate death toll from Assad’s crackdown on protesters is more than 1,300 people according to several human rights organizations. In the last few days, the repression has been even more severe as the protesters are not giving up. The prime information that is now coming out of the country is mainly through thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing Syria, primarily to Turkey. to escape the murdering regime. The testimony of these direct eyewitnesses are now piling up.
An estimated 4,600 Syrians have already fled to Turkey, according to the Turkish government. A Syrian eyewitness, who escaped yesterday from a border village, told BBC news’ Owen Bennett-Jones that the Syrian military used tanks to attack a village near his on Friday morning. The village is located near Jisr al-Shughour in north west Syria. The Syrian refugee said the brutal on the near back village begun at 6:AM when people were still sleeping. According to him, forty tanks went into the village, and many people were killed. The tanks fired at the houses, then the Syrian troops proceeded to burn the wheat crops around the village and to destroy the olive groves. The man decided to flee with his wife, 10 children and four horses and he walked to Turkey.
On Saturday, Assad sent heavy armor and thousands of troops to the region near the Turkish border. In the town of Jisr al-Shughour, 80 percent of the population is reported to have fled. The troops responsible for most of Friday’s violence were an elite division under the command of Maher Assad, Bashar Assad’s younger brother. However, this time around, the Assad clan, under the impulse of the brutal younger brother, may have overplayed their hand and pushed the repression too far.
Syria’s brutal crackdown has now angered Turkey, a key international supporter of the Assad regime. On Saturday, Turkey’s prime minister Erdogan accused the Assad regime of “savagery”. In an interview for Turkish TV late Friday, prime minister Erdogan said he would discuss events in Syria with Assad in “a very different way”. Erdogan accusation were directly targeting Maher Assad. The Turkish government also stated it would maintain its border open to Syrian refugees.
On Saturday, the human rights organization, Human Rights Watch called on the UN Security Council to support a resolution demanding an immediate end to the Syrian government’s crackdown. On June 1ST, Human Rights Watch published a report accusing Syrian security forces of crimes against humanity.
“For more than two months now, Syrian security forces have been killing and torturing their own people with complete impunity. They need to stop- and if they don’t, it is the UN Security Council responsibility to make sure that the people responsible face justice,” said Sarah Leah Whitson from Human Rights Watch.