|A statue of Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's late father and fellow|
genocidal dictator (as the tragically-ignored Hama massacre
and 30-year tyranny demonstrates) wrapped in a Free Syrian
flag in the center of Kasab.
The last border crossing to Turkey to remain under the control of Assad was recently taken by the revolutionaries, a jet which attemted to bomb the positions of the free fighters was downed by a Turkish missile battery after violating Turkish airspace (Turkey again deserves thanks, for having stood with the Syrian people from the start, despite being constantly hamstrung by the outside world), much ground was lost by the regime in its heartland of Latakia. This video shows Kesab (the town near to the crossing), a prominent town in Latakia, under the control of the revolutionaries. The Al-Nabeen border post was also captured.
In a very symbolic blow, Hilal al-Assad, a cousin of Bashar, and commander of the 'National Defense Forces' (a sectarian regime militia) was squashed by the revolutionaries during the battle to take Kesab. it seems Jaish al-Islam fired a grad rocket onto one of his positions and killed him & several of his men
Hilal has been described as a 'beast' by Qusai Zakarya, a prominent anti-Assad Syrian-Palestinian activist. Hilal responsible for countless atrocities and acts of savage violence. In one period of his horrible actions, he took innocent female civilians hostage and imprisoned them in Latakia Sports City, and no doubt mistreating them, in an attempt to keep the revolutionaries at bay. The militia he founded has committed countless atrocities and sectarian killings. In Baniyas alone, the NDF "assumed the most barbaric role of beating, shooting, or stabbing families to death, then burning down their houses" in sectarian massacres directed against non-Alawites which killed well over 1000 people in all manner of horrific circumstances:
The New York Times, which interviewed eyewitnesses and survivors of the massacre, pro-regime forces clad or semi-clad in military fatigues went house to house, separating men and boys above the age of 10 from women and younger children. Whole families were executed and images have since emerged showing children piled atop each other, some with half their faces blown off. Corpses later recovered in al-Bayda were said to include "the burned body of a baby just a few months old" and "a fetus ripped from a woman's belly." Two days later, on May 4, a similar massacre was repeated in Ras al-Nabeh, a district near the city of Baniyas.None will miss Hilal, after leading sectarian Alawite and Shiite militants who committed such atrocities, and ordered them to commit them.
Only today, Assad has lost yet another cousin - Ali al-Assad was killed today by revolutionary forces in Latakia, seemingly by the Free Syrian Army. The exact circumstances are unknown.
While such blows may not initially seem to be decisive militarily in the long-term (other disgusting thugs are waiting in the wings), they are significant in the sense that Assad's inner circle is slowly being chipped away, and this sows fear and discord in the ranks of the regime. The effect of Hilal's death has been severe to the extent that Latakia's pro-Assad forces have begun to engage in furious street battles with each other all across the city. Such disunity can only benefit the revolutionaries' ongoing offensive.
Unfortunately, this often takes the form of violence against civilians. The forces of Hilal's son (each spoiled Assad family member has their own gang of thugs, seemingly) furiously roamed Latakia's streets after his death, angrily shooting at anything that moves, and even allegedly fighting with Assad's forces.
In addition, Assad's forces have surrounded the Sunni neighborhoods of Soliaba and Tabyat in Latakia city in response to the killings, sparking fears of sectarian massacres in retaliation. This vile regime has shown itself incapable of anything but violence and hatred, as well as irrationality and a lack of logic. Turkey aided Syrians, so as a result, Syrians must pay for that with their lives.
However, we are sincerely hoping and praying that this will not turn out to be the case. Despite the constant media lies claiming that Assad is winning, the revolutionaries are advancing all across Syria. May God be with them. We congratulate the Syrian people on their heroic resistance, their success, and their refusal to give in!
Ben Allinson-Davies & the Radio Free Syria team.
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