After promising Ban Ki Moon that he would let a UN team into the city of Deraa to investigate claims of a massacre, Syrian President Bashar al Assad has has reneged on the deal. In fact,  Assad has doubled down: According to several news sources, Syrian tanks and soldiers are heading to the Deraa region, guns a-blazing:

Syrian troops backed by tanks entered several southern villages near the flashpoint city of Daraa on Tuesday as the government pressed its efforts to end a nationwide uprising, an activist said.

The activist said heavy gunfire was heard when the troops entered Inkhil, Dael, Jassem, Sanamein and Nawa after midnight. It was not clear if there were casualties, he said.

He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals.

In recent weeks, army troops carried out an 11-day operation in Daraa that killed more than 80 people, residents and activists said. The city, near the Jordanian border, has been cut off for the past two weeks.

About 800 people have been killed in protests so far, and several thousand people have been detained. It is clear that this protest movement is not lacking for enthusiasm. Equally clear, so far, is that the Syrian government has no problem with brutally suppressing this revolt.

The protesters might not have guns, but they have satire. Check out this video from YouTube user SyrBouazizi.  I speak not a word of Arabic, but I can tell this is a brilliant skewering of Assad and his sycophants in the Syrian government.

Get occasional updates from UN Dispatch

* indicates required

Want Our Social Media List?