Syria’s media war: are the protesters peaceful or violent?

 
Over the past few days, Syria’s state television, as well as YouTube channels linked to the government, have been showing videos of people they say are protesters taking up arms. This, if true, would be at odds with the opposition’s proclaimed efforts to keep protests peaceful.
 
Despite thousands of people taking to the streets since the start of the protest movement in March, Syria’s leaders have always blamed the unrest on armed groups they say are terrorising the country, thus justifying the military’s deployment. The opposition has responded by repeatedly calling for their movement to stay peaceful at all costs.
 
But for the past few days, pro-government media outlets – both official television stations and YouTube channels – are out to prove, via amateur videos, that protesters (whom they call “terrorists”) are armed and shooting at security forces. Activists quickly reacted by creating Facebook pages calling on fellow protesters to keep their methods peaceful.
 
According to the opposition, at least 134 people have been killed since Sunday, when Syria’s army launched its attack on the city of Hama. The international community has reacted with horror to what many countries called a “massacre” by the Syrian army. For the first time since the beginning of the unrest in Syria, the UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned Damascus’ "widespread violations of human rights."
 
According to Avaaz, a human rights organization based in the United States, 1,790 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the protests in March. Meanwhile, Syrian authorities have counted 1,300 “martyrs of the nation” among their security forces.
 
Two Syrian anti-government activists tell us what they think of these videos.
 
 
This footage broadcast on Syrian television purports to show Syrian protesters bearing arms. Video published on Youtube.
Contributors

“Why should the rebels in Libya be allowed to defend themselves, and not us?”

Ali (not his real name) lives in Homs.
 
Armed protesters aren’t coming from the cities, where only the regime’s militiamen are in possession of firearms. They come from villages, where people own hunting rifles and handguns. They have come to believe that protesters can’t defend themselves against the regime’s violent ways. And so they’ve decided to organise their own defence.
 
Only in a few cities, like Homs or Hama, where the repression has been particularly violent, has anyone taken up arms. However this illustrates just how fed up the population is. For nearly five months now the Syrian people have been massacred, and no one cares. [The slogan of Friday’s protest was directed at the international community: “Your silence is killing us.”]
 
Some Syrian protesters are worried that those taking up arms, which remain a small minority of people, will discredit their cause in the eyes of the international community. But when you see how little support we’ve received, I just don’t think protesters out in the streets are too worried about what the international community may think. Of course, I am worried that if more people were to take up arms, this could result in a civil war. But why are rebels in Libya allowed to defend themselves, and not us?”

“If protesters really had weapons, there would have been huge losses in the ranks of the army and the security forces”

Abdullah Abadiz (not his real name) is an activist living in Deraa.
 
“The few videos that accuse protesters of carrying weapons were broadcast by Syrian television stations and published online by supporters of Bashar Al-Assad, which makes me very sceptical as to the videos’ authenticity. If protesters really had weapons, there would have been huge losses in the ranks of the army and the security forces; since military service is mandatory in Syria, everyone knows how to use a firearm.
 
I have never seen any armed protesters in the streets of Deraa. Quite the opposite. During each protest, protesters yell “Peaceful! Peaceful!” to clearly differentiate themselves from the security forces, who react by shooting at them. If these videos turn out to be authentic, then they portray isolated cases which in no way reflect the spirit of our revolution.”
 
Post written with FRANCE 24 journalist Sarra Grira.

Comments

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Peaceful Protesters?

Those that take the time and effort to protest are rarely able to remain peaceful for long. It is sad but it take big displays to get media coverage and bring attention to what you are protesting.

The Syrian regime does not stop telling fairy tales

The Syrian regime does not stop telling fairy tales to an unparalleled stupidity. This image shows a group of gang Bassists (shabiha) who make their daily walk mortal in the city of Hama. And it is very clear by their clothes and behavior at home and insured. Account at the end, even if people resort to arms to defend this is their natural right against an army without mercy.

"Syrian Terroristes" Hardly,

"Syrian Terroristes" Hardly, it appears to me most the weapons are civilian small arms, shotguns and handguns. These weapons are like spitballs to soldiers with body armor and high-powered assault rifles, not to mention the tanks and artillery which the regime has at their disposal. Sorry Mr. Assad these do not look like organized terror cells receiving international support. If they were wouldn't you think they would at the very least some AK-47's, RPG's and some roadside bombs?

Send the French army to bomb Damascus

I fail to understand why the French bomb Lybia and do nothing about Syria with the situation being the same, not that I think they should have done anything about Lybia, but if they do, then go all the way to Syria, Iran and China, if France wants to be the new World's policeman then send your army to Syria.

Syria Reform Initiative toward Democratic

Changes can't be achieve overnight, many governments around the globe have continued to define, massage their policy in order to build a good living for their citizens. As the case in Syria as well anywhere else in the middleast. Example in Lebanon, the year is 2005, The syniora government did not establish anything at all for the lebanese people, moreover it chaotics between two blocks. Later on, the Harriri governments continue the same pass of Syniora goverments.

In the Case of Syria, the strong governments have made may changes with a short frame to meet the public view and demand. And continue to debate, hold town meeting, and invited all the public. The majority of the population 97%e supporting the initiative reform by the President and the governments. The Train of reform is rolling forward toward a democratic governments a better future for the Syrien.
However, for the few 3% who are causing a terrorist act (cutting people alive, killing innocent policement, fireman, ambulance 1st responder destroying facility, road block and killing innocent people) their choice is to hop on the train or get out the way...

Ebn Al Balad

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