Blog archive: Syria

  • 20th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As protests continued in Syria on Tuesday, the newly-appointed cabinet held its first full-scale meeting and took a series of stepstowards "reform". These included approving a draft decree to end the 48-year state of emergency and replace it with a law "regulating the right to...
  • 19th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Shooting in Homs early on Tuesday. YouTube video posted byalhamoui    In an interview at the end of January, President Assad talked confidently about the lessons of Tunisia and Egypt: in Syria, he was handling things differently. "If you did not see the need for reform before...
  • 17th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    President Bashar al-Assad's speech to his new ministers on Saturday was certainly an improvement on the speech he gave to the Syrian parliament at the end of last month. He acknowledged the protesters' grievances, touched on most of the key areas where reform is needed and urged...
  • 15th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The "new" Syrian government was announced on Thursday. Exiled dissident Ammar Abdulhamid comments: "All those who keep betting on Assad the Reformer keep losing, as Assad holds on to his favourite title of Disappointment Maker. The new government is actually the old government...
  • 14th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
         Two noteworthy developments were reported from Syria on Wednesday. One was a demonstration in Aleppo – the first in the city since the wave of protests began. The other was march by women from Banias/Baniyas (see video above). According to a witness quoted by...
  • 12th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The question "Where, exactly, is Syria heading?" continues to be the subject of much discussion. Writing for Time magazine, Beirut-based journalist Nicholas Blanford asks: "Can the Syrian regime divide and conquer its opposition?" He doesn't quite give an answer, but suggests the regime's...
  • 11th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As part of his promised "reforms", President Assad recently set up a committee to look into the question of ending Syria's 48-year state of emergency. The committee is not due to complete its work until April 25 but on Saturday the state-run television broadcast a panel discussion of the issue,...
  • 9th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Syrian uprising entered its fourth week on Friday. Information about events on the ground remains sketchy, largely due to government restrictions on the media and the fact that protests are scattered across the country. But let's look at the broader picture and what it might mean for the Assad...
  • 7th April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The "reforms" promised by Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, got under way on Wednesday with two measures obviously designed to placate religious elements. One was the rescinding of a rule introduced only last July which had banned female teachers from wearing the niqab, or...
  • 2nd April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Syrian uprising appears to be growing but, as with Tunisia last December, it is getting relatively little coverage – especially in comparison with Libya. Libya has no great strategic importance, though of course foreign forces are involved and the events there are the sort that TV companies...
  • 29th March 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last January, President Assad of Syria talked about reform. Not reform under pressure but reform with "conviction", as he put it. "If you did not see the need for reform before what happened in Egypt and in Tunisia," he said, "it is too late to...
  • 27th March 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    SYRIA More protests, more repression. The NOW Lebanon website, which is monitoring events from Beirut, has the latest blow-by-blow updates. Writing for the Syrian Revolution Digest, Ammar Abdulhamid notes that momentum shifted northwards on Saturday to the coastal city of...

Pages