UN cease-fire in Syria going as well as expected

posted at 4:46 pm on April 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s see. Brutal dictator agrees to cease-fire after massacring his own people for months when they have the temerity to demand political change. Guns stop firing, brutal dictator remains in power, protests erupt. What could go wrong?

Syrian troops fired shells into rebel-held neighborhoods in the central city of Homs on Saturday killing at least one person, activists said. It was the first reported death from alleged government bombardment of a residential area since a cease-fire went into effect two days ago.

Syrian forces regularly shelled Homs and other cities before the internationally brokered truce and the resumption of such bombardments would be seen as a particularly egregious violation.

It came as the United Nations Security Council prepared to vote on a resolution authorizing the deployment of the first wave of U.N. military observers to monitor the cease-fire between government forces and rebels.

Activists claim that thirteen people have been killed since the beginning of the cease-fire, while the government claims that rebels have killed three people.  Reports have come in that government troops opened fire on a funeral, wounding a number of people.  The government claims that a local politician had been kidnapped by “gunmen,” and that another group had captured one of its higher-ranking officers in a suburb of Hama.  Sounds like one hell of a cease-fire.

However, although the Assad regime is still blocking access to many of these areas to foreign journalists, the AP says that the body count is still an improvement over the pre-truce conditions:

On Friday, Syrian forces have used live fire, tear gas and clubs to beat back tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets across the country in powerful and often jubilant displays of defiance.

But the reported death toll from the rallies — six people — was much less than the usual for a Friday, where demonstrators spill out onto the streets after midday prayers. The rallies meanwhile were described as some of the largest in months.

Other incidents after the cease-fire went into effect included 20 people wounded when security forces opened fire at protesters in the southern village of Jassim late Friday, activists said.

Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t sound like a cease fire as much as it sounds like a reload.  The UN wants to send 30 observers to supervise the cease-fire.  They’d better bring their body armor, because it looks like this civil war will get back under way very, very quickly.

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Rusty Allen on April 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Merely a time out.

rbj on April 14, 2012 at 4:52 PM

If we arm the rebels, which I read we’re about to do, it could very well end up that Assad meets the same fate as Gaddafi, who thought he could crush the rebels, too.

scalleywag on April 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

The ultimate result of this uprising, if successful, will be an even more brutal dictatorship than the Assad regime, and one that is even more hostile to the US and Israel, just as we’re seeing played out in Egypt and Tunisia. Syria will move toward the implementation of Sharia law more fully. We should not be supporting the uprisers. There is no good side in this conflict. We should just stay out of it.

WhatSlushfund on April 14, 2012 at 5:27 PM

I thought the Russians had this all under control…?


Seven Percent Solution on April 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Obama has finally made the right decision and stayed out of this conflict. America does not have a dog in this fight. Arab Spring is not about democracy breaking out all over the middle east so much as it is a rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. If the Assad regime collapses, the people who will take over will be the Muslim Brotherhood, Iranian proxies like Hezbollah or worse.

We need to sit back and let whatever is going to happen happen. Arabs are a primitive tribal people and democracy is a totally foreign idea to them. It’s taken over 10 years, but you can not democratize people who’s first loyalty is to Islamic Sharia law or tribal chiefs.

simkeith on April 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM

The Chinese and Russians support the cease fire now so I suspect Assad is losing.

Grunt on April 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

All cease fire does is for both side to rearm and continue to kill each other for decades. It is best to just let them kill each other until one side is 6ft under.

jdun on April 14, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Perhaps the UN’s memo wasn’t as strongly worded as it needed to be. They should go back to their keypads and draft another one, this time really, really putting Assad on notice that the “international community” expects him to start acting humanely toward his people, OR ELSE he will get an even stronger memo next time, with lots and lots of exclamation points.

TXUS on April 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I’m sensing a very, VERY strongly worded letter coming out of the UN within the month.

jukin3 on April 14, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Sucks to be a Syrian rebel. Y’all didn’t get the message – President Reset is working on getting re-elected. No kinetic action until that’s done.

CorporatePiggy on April 14, 2012 at 7:17 PM

That’s a shame.

I had put a lot of emotional capital on it.

I hope that both sides can win. Should be easy with that surplus of peace and tolerance that emanates from Islams every orifice. Isn’t the Arab League onside? That is more important than anything.

Maybe the Mahdi will save them when he blasts out of the well wearing Karzais cape.

[email protected] on April 14, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Don’t care about Syria.

We cannot help them.

Tired of Syria’s use as a distraction from Obama’s failed policies by the MSM.

And sorry to see hot air jumping on that particular bandwagon.

Syria will end up islamic supremacist like the rest of the middle east per the so-called Arab spring.

The only possible exception to above would have been Iran but you see how much the Obama regime did for those folks.

Be honest.

Do we really “care” about the plight of folks in Syria?

Or does pretending to care just make us “feel” better in the sorry liberal sense?

Sherman1864 on April 14, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Everyone including our state dept is trying to buy Assad time.

They want him to win for “stability” and talk about some other shiny object.

Like Israel.

I mean, Obama lost Lebanon, Egypt, Libya.

Ben Hur on April 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Send in Pelosi!

KOOLAID2 on April 15, 2012 at 2:20 AM