Shabiha Go Door To Door In Damascus
(Part of The Darkness Visible post)
In a town on the outskirts of Damascus, Jdeidet Artouz, the Shabiha have committed yet another massacre. Nobody knows if this is in response for the rebels' killing of four police officers yesterday. But what is clear is that the "ghost" went door to door to round up what they called "terrorist". And as a result somewhere between 30 and 60 innocent civilians were butchered so that Assad's regime could satisfy its need for fresh blood.
In addition to the tension in the capitol of Syria another massacre was carried out in a neighboring suburb of the city, Yalda. In this slaughter the Shabiha again were seen going door to door looking for their "terrorist". And again the innocent civilians who happened to still be in their homes hiding were rounded up and taken away. Lined up in front of brick walls the 20 to 30 men, women, and children were shot and left to rot in the summer sun.
All the while the nearly hundred dead bodies in these too attacks are supposed to be ignored because some human rights groups were "appalled" by the four dead police officers the rebels produced. Nobody seems to be able to realize that the four police officers were armed and fighting back before they were captured. Nobody seems willing to admit that the four officers were used by the Assad regime to oppress the people of Aleppo. But we can't deny that the civilians butchered at the hands at the Shabiha were unarmed and no threat to Assad's tyrannical rule.
Not to argue that the crimes of the rebels is justified by the deaths of the innocent. But how can we compare the beating, tormenting, and killing of four police officers (most likely loyal to their government since they were still armed and fighting when captured) to the savage massacres of innocent civilians?
The answer is that we can't.
As the fighting in Aleppo heats up we are almost guaranteed that we will be seeing more massacres and more humanitarian crises coming out of Syria. The fact that food and water are becoming scarce in the embattled city isn't helping the civilians trapped inside to stay out of the crossfire. Taxi service is actually still up and running in Aleppo as the cabs charge around five times the usual fare. Citizens scramble across streets and flee inside as bullets zip down the streets. Children search for food as jets dive bomb their neighborhoods. And all this happens as the death toll ticks upward despite the fact nobody is counting it.
Now we will have to wait to see what happens next. While it hurts to hear of another massacre... let alone two... we are waiting to see what happens in Aleppo. All the hallmarks of a humanitarian tragedy are there. All the parts for a massacre are lining up. So let us pray that what appears to be just over the horizon does not come. Pray for Syria.