As Ramadan ends, Syrian troops show no mercy to mosque goers

Rick Moran
As Muslims around the world celebrate the Eid marking the end of the month of Ramadan, Syrians coming out of mosques to protest in at least two cities were fired upon by Assad's troops.

The final days of the holiday saw a surge in protests and alleged killings by Assad's forces, with 23 people slain from Monday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon, according to the Local Coordinating Committees opposition coalition. Many of those killed Tuesday were shot as they rallied against Assad's government after morning prayers marking Eid al-Fitr, which in normal times is a period of celebration after the Ramadan month of fasting.

In Syria, Ramadan began with a major tank assault on the opposition stronghold of Hama that activists said killed 200 people. Leaders of Syria's nonviolent movements tried but failed to make a push into the center of Damascus, the capital, in the last days of the holiday, but succeeded in mounting daily small protests countrywide through the month, despite lethal force employed by Assad's troops.

One group, the Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union, told the Reuters news agency that security forces had killed 551 people during Ramadan. The United Nations says more than 2,200 people have died since protests against Assad's regime began in March.

That 551 dead doesn't include the thousands who have been detained without charge, tortured, and as some reports say, executed.

It is hard to see how Syria can be put back together again once Assad is history. The Alawites control so much that if they are overthrown, a civil war will break out to see who replaces them. And there is a real chance for a backlash against Alawites that might turn very bloody indeed.

For the protestors, it's regime change or nothing. And it looks like they haven't flagged in their determination to confront the regime and call them to account for their crimes.


As Muslims around the world celebrate the Eid marking the end of the month of Ramadan, Syrians coming out of mosques to protest in at least two cities were fired upon by Assad's troops.

The final days of the holiday saw a surge in protests and alleged killings by Assad's forces, with 23 people slain from Monday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon, according to the Local Coordinating Committees opposition coalition. Many of those killed Tuesday were shot as they rallied against Assad's government after morning prayers marking Eid al-Fitr, which in normal times is a period of celebration after the Ramadan month of fasting.

In Syria, Ramadan began with a major tank assault on the opposition stronghold of Hama that activists said killed 200 people. Leaders of Syria's nonviolent movements tried but failed to make a push into the center of Damascus, the capital, in the last days of the holiday, but succeeded in mounting daily small protests countrywide through the month, despite lethal force employed by Assad's troops.

One group, the Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union, told the Reuters news agency that security forces had killed 551 people during Ramadan. The United Nations says more than 2,200 people have died since protests against Assad's regime began in March.

That 551 dead doesn't include the thousands who have been detained without charge, tortured, and as some reports say, executed.

It is hard to see how Syria can be put back together again once Assad is history. The Alawites control so much that if they are overthrown, a civil war will break out to see who replaces them. And there is a real chance for a backlash against Alawites that might turn very bloody indeed.

For the protestors, it's regime change or nothing. And it looks like they haven't flagged in their determination to confront the regime and call them to account for their crimes.