The Syrian opposition claims that Bashar Assad has been suppressing another Arab revolution with the help of Hezbollah terrorist group. At least 4,000 armed Shiite gunmen arrived in Syria to help the Syrian authorities suppress another "kosher" revolution.
The riots in Syria continue for a week. There were attempts made to organize massive riots in February, but all them were brought down to disintegrated and sporadic actions, in which not many people participated. However, on March 15, thousands of people took to the streets of Deraa, Damascus, Aleppo, Banias, Homs and other cities to protest against Bashar Assad's regime.
For Assad, the riots were especially alarming in Homs. This is the city, where his father brutally suppressed a mutiny of Islamists 30 years ago. At least 20,000 people were killed. The current meetings and demonstrations were dispersed by police forces and Bashar Assad's followers. The Syrian opposition is not going to settle down.
Opposition activists ask for "democratic" reforms, the abolishment of the state of emergency, the elimination of corruption and the dismissal of those guilty of dispersing peaceful demonstrations. They also demand the release of 15 teenagers, who were arrested for spraying graffiti in support of the revolution.
Syrian dissident Abdul Ayman Nour, who distributes revolutionary appeals on the Internet via All4Syria website, says that the Syrians simply want to be respected. According to him, the Syrian authorities treat common people like sheep.
The riots were especially strong in the south of the country, in the city of Deraa. Elite units of the Syrian army, including two tank divisions, were used to suppress them.
It is worthy of note that Israeli media have been showing increased attention to the current events in Syria. According to Israeli publications, the tank divisions help two battalions of special forces defend the south of the country from rioters. It was also said that the military blocked the south of Syria not to let anyone travel to the rest of the country.
Al-Arabiya TV channel reported that the protesters demolished the monument to Hafez al-Assad, the father of sitting President Bashar Assad. They also reportedly burnt the headquarters of the ruling Baath party. Offices of two cellular operators and the house of an ex-governor were set ablaze too.
At least six people were killed in the clash with the police, more than a hundred were injured.
A governmental delegation arrived in Deraa from Damascus to investigate the riots. The officials presented their apologies to those who lost their relatives in the clashes and promised to conduct investigation objectively.
In the meantime, Bashar Assad sacked the local governor and ordered to cut the term of compulsory military service by three months. The Syrians were not satisfied with those decisions. On March 22, demonstrations took place in six of Syria's 16 provinces. This gave a reason for US media to describe the events in Syria as a revolution.
Sergei Demidenko, an expert with the Institute for Strategic Estimations and Analysis , told Pravda.Ru that Syria had never been a wealthy state.
"There is little oil and gas in the country, but its population has been constantly growing. There are no oppressed categories of the population in Syria either, except for the Kurds, maybe. There are two forces that are dissatisfied with Assad's regime - intelligentsia and Islamists. There are a few of the first, they can not really do anything. But the second group is much larger and more powerful. One has to admit that Bashar Assad has made concessions for them recently. His father was ruling them a with a rod of iron. It would be enough to say that the imams of all mosques were special agents. Nowadays, the state controls only the largest mosques in the country.
"As for the West and Israel, they obviously don't like Assad's regime, and they would definitely like to get rid of Bashar Assad, this Iranian ally. But they must realize that they may eventually have another Libya," the expert said.