This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Devastating Douma

"Attacks on civilian areas with aerial indiscriminate bombs, such as vacuum bombs, are prohibited under international law."
"Hitting crowded civilian markets killing almost one hundred of its own citizens by a government is unacceptable in any circumstances."
"[The attack followed] the indiscriminate shelling of Damascus last week by armed opposition groups and the cutting of water supplies, all measures which affect civilians and are also unacceptable."
United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura

"It was really difficult to identify the bodies of the martyrs. Some of them were burned to the bone, so we couldn't add them to the documented list."
Douma spokesman

People wounded in Syria market attack receive treatment at a makeshift hospital in Douma.
People wounded in the attack receive treatment at a makeshift hospital. Photograph: Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images

"You couldn’t have a single tomb for every martyr. I saw so many mothers weeping for their children."
"We are living a real tragedy. The bombing has become daily, almost normalised, a word I fear to use. At 9am the planes come, and I no longer have an alarm on my phone, I wake up with the air strike, or a mortar shell, or the death of a family member or a friend."
Hassan Taqulden, Douma activist

The spokesman for a rescue service operating in rebel-held area of the country, the Syrian Civil Defense force in Douma counted sixty bodies buried on Sunday in two mass graves. The following day another 35 were buried, bringing the death toll to over one hundred Syrians. Their crime was that they were Syrian Sunnis, and that they were living in a town where the rebel militias were operating, ten miles from Damascus. Their punishment was death.

At least two bombs struck a marketplace in the opposition-held enclave of Douma on Sunday. The second bomb exploded just as rescuers arrived to cope with the casualties. Douma officials have stated that 112 victims had been prepared for burial. While Sunday saw the first attack, raids continued through Monday morning The area has been under siege by the Syrian military. And now, the public market has been destroyed.

Starving residents gathered at the market hoping to find something edible left after the attacks so they might have something to eat. Hunger stalks the village, caused by the ongoing siege of the area.  Douma-based photographer Bassam al-Hakeem described what he saw: "I entered the market and the corpses were scattered everywhere, human remains thrown on the produce and vegetables, and under every box of tomatoes was a corpse or part of a corpse."

It is believed that a recent attack on Damascus by a rebel group led to these latest attacks by the Syrian military. Retaliation for an attack by the Jeish al-Islam rebel group on a nearby regime army base on Saturday. It is common enough knowledge that the opposition militants have public support in Douma, one of the main opposition strongholds near Damascus, in the past three years.

The Syrian regime is now responsible, after four years of unremitting attacks against its own population, of overseeing the death of close to 300,000 Syrians. Their abhorrent atrocities, in the Alawite regime's attacking their own population with helicopter gunships, with chemical weapons, with barrel bombs, has distinguished Bashar al-Assad as a man proudly outperforming the atrocities his father Hafez before him committed against Syrians.

While most of the Arab world detests and deplores President Assad's deadly response to his Syrian Sunni population's militarization of peaceful protests against oppression, nothing of substance has occurred to indicate that the Arab League has any intention of putting a halt to the millions of refugees being forced from Syria, nor the growing death count. That potential, the impetus to finally act in a hotbed of Islamist fanaticism and sectarian violence has been left to the West.

The gruesome deaths of so many Muslims at the hands of other Muslims seems not to offend humanitarian sensibilities in the Middle East to the extent that they will actually muster a combined force of men under arms procured by oil wealth to furnish the latest in munition arsenals and  war machinery. They look for nations not of the geography and not Muslim, to solve the festering sore of Islamist psychopathy.

Destroyed buildings and possessions at a market in Douma, Syria.
The aftermath of the raid in Douma on Sunday. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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