Syria’s “new normal”

EA WorldView, which has been liveblogging the Syrian uprising since it began last year, reports:

At certain points during the 18 months of the Syrian crisis, we have taken note of a shift in the conflict by declaring a “new normal”. One of those “new normals” came last year with the transition from peaceful protests, challenged by the regime’s forces, to a daily ritual of violence and scores of deaths. Another was in early 2012 with the siege of cities such as Homs.

Today the “new normal” is the death from shelling, whether fired from the ground or from warplanes and helicopters in the sky. While this shelling has been long-established, the casualty levels are now beyond any seen since March 2011. A pattern last month of 100-150 deaths of civilians per day at the hands of security forces has given way to more than 200 this week.

Yesterday the Local Coordination Committees reported the slaying of 272 people, with more than 100 killed by aerial shelling. There were 115 deaths in Aleppo Province, most in the pounding of Aleppo city, 67 in Damascus and its suburbs, and 40 in Deir Ez Zor Province.

Although you won’t find a single mention of it on most “pro-Palestinian” (acutally anti-Israel) websites, one of the regular targets of Syrian army shelling is the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp in Damascus.

Disrupting performances by Israeli musicians, actors and dancers in the UK will do these Palestinians no more good than it does Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Reuters reports:

Syrian army mortar and artillery bombardment of an area of southern Damascus where Palestinian refugees live killed at least 20 people on Thursday, residents and local emergency workers said.

Yarmouk camp and the districts surrounding it have seen the most prolonged fighting in the capital since forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad launched a counter-offensive to push rebels out of the city two months ago.

Residents in the camp said that for the last two weeks Yarmouk had been closed off from neighbouring districts and that they had heard regular clashes. Since early on Thursday they reported heavy bombardment in the area.

They said the army may have intensified its attack on the district in the belief that rebels, who have been sheltering in the nearby neighbourhoods of Tadamon and Hajar al-Aswad, were slipping into Yarmouk, whose Palestinian residents are suspected by authorities of siding with the rebels.

Here is video of the aftermath of recent shelling of Yarmouk Camp:

And here is video of a demonstration by residents of the neighborhood protesting the bombardment:

In Aleppo, according to EA WorldView, English-speaking citizen journalist Mohamed Zakoor was himself reportedly struck and killed as he shot this video of a civilian killed by Assad’s army:

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