Twenty-one months after the conflict in Syria began as a popular uprising, rebel forces are making gains, tactics are changing, and the threat of chemical warfare has made an appearance. Syrian rebels reached a level of cooperation, forming a single entity — the Syrian National Coalition. The alliance has received recognition from Arab states and support from NATO members in its goal of unseating Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, and replacing his government. But U.S. intelligence reports have noted activity within Syrian government-controlled chemical weapons facilities, and President Barack Obama has warned that the use of such weapons against rebels would cross a “red line.” There are signs that al-Assad’s hold on power is slipping as rebels gain ground and support, and even Russia, a longtime ally, has reportedly sent ships to the Syrian coast for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens. Collected here are images of this bloody conflict from just the past few weeks.
While much recent media attention has been focused on Hurricane Sandy and America’s presidential election, Syria’s horrific civil war continues. In some places, it has worsened. Aerial bombardment of civilian neighborhoods, deadly sniper fire, brutal street fighting, assassinations, and summary executions have become the norm in Syria. Cease-fire agreements have collapsed, rebel forces remain disorganized, foreign intervention is still hamstrung, and no path to peace appears to be forming yet. Britain is now reportedly looking for options to circumvent an arms embargo in order to supply rebels with weaponry. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains defiant, stating in an interview with Russia Today that he planned “live and die in Syria,” adding, “I am tougher than Gaddafi.” Collected here are images of this bloody conflict from just the past few weeks.
Syrian opposition activists quietly watched President Bashar al-Assad trade crisis-management tips with Iran and order Right Said Fred songs from iTunes as they secretly accessed his email until Assad shut down his account after a totally separate hack by Anonymous. Before the account he shared with his wife Asma went dead, the activists managed to download about 3,000 messages from it, which The Guardian reported as an exclusive on Wednesday.
One email conversation that truly stands out from the reams of communication The Guardian posted, is Assad’s correspondence with iTunes, from which he ordered country singer Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me To You” to send to his wife, Asma, the day after Syrian forces started shelling Homs. Assad also had an affinity for Chris Brown, Right Said Fred, and New Order. “In January he bought a number of songs by the popular US dance group LMFAO including their hit Sexy and I Know it,” The Guardian reported. But it’s Right Said Fred that cracks us up: Assad ordered “Don’t Talk Just Kiss“ because, we’re guessing, he already had “I’m Too Sexy.”