Syria: "The Violence Is Not Equal"

Posted by Robert S. Ford
February 11, 2012
Satellite Imagery of Syrian Military Movements, February 10, 2012

Editor's Note: This entry appeared first on the U.S. Embassy Syria Facebook page. You can find additional satellite imagery of Syrian military movements here.

The violence is not equal.

Yesterday I put out a note about the situation in Syria as I've witnessed it from the ground and since leaving the country. A terrible and tragic development in Syria is the use of heavy weaponry by the Assad regime against residential neighborhoods. For those unfamiliar with military equipment, the artillery used by the regime is designed for full scale warfare, and the regime is using it to pound civilian apartment buildings and homes from a distance. There is no evidence that the opposition -- even those opposition members who have defected from the military -- has access or has employed such heavy weapons. Those who defect from the military are often lucky to leave with only the rifle in their hands, fearful that those loyal to the regime will hunt them down for refusing to kill unarmed civilians. It's also important to note the opposition began as a peaceful movement and it is still mostly a peaceful protest movement that has been met by the regime with imprisonment, torture and killing.

I mention this because some try to equate the violence perpetrated by the regime with the violence perpetrated by the opposition -- it is unfair to do so when one side is using such heavy weaponry. Satellite photos have captured both the carnage and those causing it -- the artillery is clearly there, it is clearly bombing entire neighborhoods, and it marks a new low for the Assad regime. We are intent on exposing the regime's brutal tactics for the world to see.



February 12, 2012

W.W. writes:

when in time of great emergency when people get killed when a regime bombs with financial movment or real bombs and you find on the other side at un people who don't work cos is friday staurday or sundays you know you ve got a real issue -

UN has lost legitimacy you have lost legitimacy just cos you are there

Syria R.
February 12, 2012

Syria Revolt in Syria writes:

Dear Mr. Ford, Thank you for your support to the Syrian people. As you well know, the Asad regime is intent on using all means of violence, including mass murder, in order to remain in power. As such, by stating that only a political solution can be achieved in Syria, only embolden the regime is its sense of lack of accountability for its actions. An international intervention and the creation of safe zones are the only protection to the unarmed Syrian people against the killing machine of the Syrian regime's army. Any political approach is viewed by the regime as an opportunity to gain time. Thank you.

District Of Columbia, USA
February 12, 2012

Heath in Washington, D.C. writes:

Very helpful insight. So glad to see this kind of useful, first hand information.

New Mexico, USA
February 12, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Amb. Ford,

So now folks have sat. pictures to show the Russians how their arms sales to Assad are being used, you think they might wanna "repo" those weapons, unilaterally? Or are they still telling folks their sales are perfectly "legal" under these circumstances?

Seems if the Russians want to keep their naval base , the'll prop up the devil himself to hang onto it, when their better bet would be to hang their hat on the people's hope and hope they renue their lease after Assad's inevitable fall....thet're going about securing Russia's interests in a way that is guranteed to cost them dearly when the Syrian people do an accounting and send the Kremlin a hefty bill for supporting Assad's crimes against humanity.

Are the Russians being informed of these things by the US gov. as food for thought?

Or are they beyond reason too?



February 13, 2012

W.W. writes:

people always working = No crisis

Friend of Syria

Speaking today, the Foreign Secretary said:

"Over the past week the Assad regime has increased its already brutal assault on Syria’s civilian population. The world has watched in horror. There can no longer be any doubt that President Assad has lost legitimacy. I call on him again to spare the Syrian people from the atrocities of his regime, step aside, and allow a peaceful transition to a new Syria.

I welcome Tunisia’s offer to host a "Friends of Syria" meeting on 24 February to build a coordinated international response to events in Syria. The UK is determined to pursue every possible peaceful means of pressurising Assad’s regime until it ceases its brutal repression of the Syrian people, and the Friends of Syria group is an essential means of doing that. The meeting will show the breadth and strength of international support for the Arab League’s efforts to resolve the crisis.

The UK looks forward to working closely with Arab and international partners in the “Friends of Syria” group to end the violence and begin the process of transition that the Syrian people deserve.”

John P.
Virginia, USA
February 13, 2012

John P. in Virginia writes:

Russian and China are wrong.

Homs is the new Bengazi.

Assad is As bad as Gaddafi.

South Korea
February 13, 2012

Palgye in South Korea writes:


Given the opposition of Russia and China, Syria, through an internal coup d'etat in Syria believe that the possibility of the problem is resolved.

Absolute, rather than military intervention, by the external forces of the dictatorship of Syria ... It's not like the disappearance of

In the current situation, the Syrian issue, rather than to solve the economic crisis in Europe,

People assisting you, some symbolic things to show in the media, is considered sufficient. And cooperate with your new government .....

The liberation of Libya?, Many people did the opposite, the situation in Syria has been deeply involved in the presidential election, so ....


$ 30 billion of new market?

Thank You.


Everyone knows the story, but a visit to China that the United States news reporting,

Syria, rather than the problem

China's yuan exchange rate is expected'd be more important issues.

Syria, too, Russia has been linked more closely I think.

Massachusetts, USA
February 13, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@ Amb. Ford,

Your posts are genuine and we get a sense of your profound remorse for the developments in Syria. The anguish felt in taking down the embassy flag could also symbolize the hope and promise of a better day when it will once again fly in a peaceful Syria -so keep that flag safe.

If a last minute cease fire proposal from Russia and China was suddenly brought to the table???

United States
February 13, 2012

Donald in the U.S.A. writes:

Well, perhaps one can appreciate why we Americans reject federal militarization of our local police and joint task forces involving federal troops, Fusion Centers and useless checkpoints across the nation co-manned by the US military in violation of the 4th Amendment and the Posse Comitatus Act.

We used to have a legal structure designed to prevent a US president from doing in America what Assad is doing in Syria. With the NDAA and Patriot Act, a president like Assad could feel comfortable doing the same thing in America.

Syria is a nearly perfect example of why our founders wrote the 2nd Amendment.

The right of self-defense is a fundamental right of the people to defend themselves against government oppression. What the US/UN should have been doing was to promote the private ownership of firearms in all nations, including assault rifles with high capacity magazines. Every willing citizen should be heavily armed just as they are in Switzerland.

When a government is fighting to prevent its overthrow, the violence is never equal because the government is heavily armed and trained to crush its citizens. The violence was not equal when General Washington fought the British, and the reaction of the Crown was why we have a Bill of Rights in our Constitution that Obama and Congress have tried to destroy.

It is not so different in Syria than it would be in America if the Obama administration decided to use all those GPS coordinates of our homes taken by Census workers for a military campaign against dissent.

Russia made clear why they vetoed the proposed UN resolution. Russian leaders were angry when they discovered NATO far exceeded the scope of the UN Resolution regarding Libya.

The deliberate massacre of the black Libyan population by NATO-supported rebels horrified the world. Americans were sickened and outraged to learn that Al Qaeda led the Libyan rebels, who promptly flew their terrorist flag at the first opportunity.

So American public support of Syrian intervention is just not happening.

The Syrian government is notoriously bad, but who needs another failed state like Libya? Any advice to stay out of Syria is good advice.

If President Assad is responsible for murdering his citizens as some in the Obama administration claim, have charges been filed at the Hague and an arrest warrant issued through Interpol? If you've got the evidence, where is the request for prosecution?

United States
February 13, 2012

Portia S. in the U.S.A. writes:

Mr. Ford, I do not find your arguments persuasive. The putative rebel forces are reported to have armored personnel carriers and the Israeli DEBKAfile has reported British and Qatari special ops units assisting the rebels. This is shaping up as Libya all over again, with US entering into a tactical alliance with elements of Al-Qaeda in order to overthrow one of the few remaining secular governments in the region.

The double standard here is obvious: the Obama administration, echoing the UK, demands that Syrian sovereignty be abrogated because of human rights violations, while turning a blind eye to similar violations in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.

It is clear to me that the overall objective here is geopolitical. The present administration is reacting to the collapse of the financial system by reviving the Cold War, looking for opportunities to engage in proxy warfare with Russia and China. I really don't think that they understand how rapidly this situation could develop into a "hot" war which would devastate the planet.

February 13, 2012

W.W. writes:


It is not a written piece of paper that makes humanity and its history - everybody can write -- It is not a speech that makes rules or power - everybody can speak

Today what it makes the difference are action and act toward a common future identifying what works and what it doesn't- nations and humanity with new communicative tools must reach into a new era made of Prosperity Security and peace eliminating current financial criminal lobby leading the West for more then 70 years and eliminating Violence expressed by Islam -

February 13, 2012

P. in Lebanon writes:

I just wish to say thanks, i havent posted on your blog but i have been an avid reader for very some time now.

February 14, 2012

W.W. writes:

Hearts Full Of Shame :

western financial criminal corruption - unevoluted islamic ideology

violence is not equal but you don't know which one is worse between the two



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