Syrian army told: Use any means necessary to crush rebellion in Deraa

The claim by the military official, who has provided accurate information in the past, could explain the violent response of Syrian security forces in Dara over the last two days, which resembles the take-no-prisoners strategy used by Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, to put down a 1982 rebellion in the central city of Hama.

“There have been commands to attend to the situation in Dara as soon as possible and with any means necessary,” the military source told The Times in a brief conversation conducted over the Internet. “Even if this means that the city is to be burned down.”