Syrian aid convoy refused entry

Rick Moran
Tons of food, medicine, and supplies were denied entry into Syria at the Turkish border according to a BBC report:

Hundreds of Syrian and foreign activists travelling in convoy have been prevented from entering Syria to deliver aid supplies.

A representative from the group said they would now stage a sit-in on the Turkish side of the border.

[...]

"We want to go to Syria to show to the whole world what is happening," Moayad Skaif, a 30-year-old Syrian journalist from Qatar told Reuters.

But activists told the BBC that they recognised that their gesture was mainly symbolic and they knew they were unlikely to be allowed into Syria.

Turkey shares a 900km (550 mile) border with Syria.

"The Syrian revolution is an orphaned revolution because nobody is sticking up for it, not even the Arab League," computer graphics teacher Samir Jisri from Toronto told Reuters. "The last hope we have is Turkey."

Turkish authorities, activists say, have been very co-operative in their mission, though Jordanian officials turned down their request to travel to Syria from there.

In fact, as I point out in my article on Syria for FrontPage.com this morning. Syrians are beginning to accept the fact that they are alone in this fight:

A few Arab League members have called for a "rapid reaction force" to respond to Assad's brutality, but that idea is going nowhere - not with Iraq and Lebanon unalterably opposed. Other states like Algeria are looking nervously at Syria and wondering if they would be next. The fact is, most Arab governments are made up of authoritarian regimes or dictatorships almost as bad as Syria. They worry about setting precedents that could someday be used against them. Also, some of the Gulf states are fearful of Syria's close ally, Iran, and what it may do if collective action results in a threat to Assad's continuation in power.

All of this confusion and weakness has not slaked the ambition of the opposition to topple Assad peacefully. On Friday, December 30, more than 250,000 protestors took to the streets in Idlib and Hama with many thousands more participating in demonstrations across the country. In response, Assad appears to have added some wrinkles to his tactics in trying to crush the rebellion."The regime added tear gas, water cannons, and nail bombs to its arsenal of mass arrests, torture, live ammunition, and sniper fire used to attack protesters," reports FP's Hanano.

The protestors may be on their own. They may have been abandoned by the Arab League and its timidity in the face of unprecedented violence carried out against civilians. They may be resigned to a long, bloody, and difficult campaign to wrest control of the country from Assad.

But in the end, they see their struggle as a fight for human dignity. FP's Hanano:

As part of the "Strike for Dignity," protesters in Homs held a "noise campaign" by banging pots in protest. Tanjara is Arabic for pot, but when transformed to a verb, it means to disregard. Disregard the regime, the Arab League observers, and the world, because the people on the street know they are running this revolution alone - with chants, flags, cell-phone cameras, and now kitchen utensils.

And, no doubt, with the spilling of more of their own blood to achieve their goals.

The economy has collapsed, food is disappearing, and there is little hope for improvement as long as Assad remains in power. If it is dignity the Syrians want, they will find it a hard slog to achieve in the coming months as the bloodshed will continue unabated.




Tons of food, medicine, and supplies were denied entry into Syria at the Turkish border according to a BBC report:

Hundreds of Syrian and foreign activists travelling in convoy have been prevented from entering Syria to deliver aid supplies.

A representative from the group said they would now stage a sit-in on the Turkish side of the border.

[...]

"We want to go to Syria to show to the whole world what is happening," Moayad Skaif, a 30-year-old Syrian journalist from Qatar told Reuters.

But activists told the BBC that they recognised that their gesture was mainly symbolic and they knew they were unlikely to be allowed into Syria.

Turkey shares a 900km (550 mile) border with Syria.

"The Syrian revolution is an orphaned revolution because nobody is sticking up for it, not even the Arab League," computer graphics teacher Samir Jisri from Toronto told Reuters. "The last hope we have is Turkey."

Turkish authorities, activists say, have been very co-operative in their mission, though Jordanian officials turned down their request to travel to Syria from there.

In fact, as I point out in my article on Syria for FrontPage.com this morning. Syrians are beginning to accept the fact that they are alone in this fight:

A few Arab League members have called for a "rapid reaction force" to respond to Assad's brutality, but that idea is going nowhere - not with Iraq and Lebanon unalterably opposed. Other states like Algeria are looking nervously at Syria and wondering if they would be next. The fact is, most Arab governments are made up of authoritarian regimes or dictatorships almost as bad as Syria. They worry about setting precedents that could someday be used against them. Also, some of the Gulf states are fearful of Syria's close ally, Iran, and what it may do if collective action results in a threat to Assad's continuation in power.

All of this confusion and weakness has not slaked the ambition of the opposition to topple Assad peacefully. On Friday, December 30, more than 250,000 protestors took to the streets in Idlib and Hama with many thousands more participating in demonstrations across the country. In response, Assad appears to have added some wrinkles to his tactics in trying to crush the rebellion."The regime added tear gas, water cannons, and nail bombs to its arsenal of mass arrests, torture, live ammunition, and sniper fire used to attack protesters," reports FP's Hanano.

The protestors may be on their own. They may have been abandoned by the Arab League and its timidity in the face of unprecedented violence carried out against civilians. They may be resigned to a long, bloody, and difficult campaign to wrest control of the country from Assad.

But in the end, they see their struggle as a fight for human dignity. FP's Hanano:

As part of the "Strike for Dignity," protesters in Homs held a "noise campaign" by banging pots in protest. Tanjara is Arabic for pot, but when transformed to a verb, it means to disregard. Disregard the regime, the Arab League observers, and the world, because the people on the street know they are running this revolution alone - with chants, flags, cell-phone cameras, and now kitchen utensils.

And, no doubt, with the spilling of more of their own blood to achieve their goals.

The economy has collapsed, food is disappearing, and there is little hope for improvement as long as Assad remains in power. If it is dignity the Syrians want, they will find it a hard slog to achieve in the coming months as the bloodshed will continue unabated.