Tag Archives: Deraa

From Hama to Deraa: How a Barbaric Episode in History Repeats Itself

Commentary by Tamer Mallat & Antoine Alhéritière – 9 May 2011

This week, reports portraying the consequences of Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on the March 15 movement have begun to reveal the extent of the bloodbath being produced in Syria. The iconic border-town of Deraa, which has become the symbol of Syria’s fledgling opposition movement, has been under siege by the Syrian army for more than ten days now. The death count for the past few days, just released by The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS), numbers in the hundreds. From children to army officers and conscripts shot in the back – most likely because they refused to fire on unarmed protestors – no segment of the Syrian population appears to be spared from the sordid picture that is being drawn. Dubbed a “massacre”, the repression in Deraa evokes memories of an all-too similar event that occurred in 1982 when Hama suffered one of the most brutal crackdowns in Arab history, with the number of deaths estimated at being well over 20,000. Continue reading

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