There is a real danger that the more you talk these things up, the greater the likelihood of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Today, three stories with near-identical headlines. And that’s in addition to the NYT’s article on Saturday.
When some of their wives tried to cross the border, they were stopped by Syrian soldiers who insulted them, asking whether they were going to see their menfolk for sex.
Enraged, their husbands gathered a group of 15 men and that night attacked an army encampment near Hitt.
The gun battle lasted for four hours. Some bullets were fired over the border and hit the walls of Lebanese homes. …
One of the men refused to talk, saying only: “You are not giving us weapons, so what is the point of doing an interview?”
Having made his point he wandered off. …
Syrian officials say over 800 police and soldiers have been killed. That compares with over 2,700 civilians, estimated by the United Nations.
Gulf News: Signs of civil war in Syria
Prominent Syrian activist Michel Kilo warned of a full-scale war in the country, if the government continued to deploy armed forces to quell protests.
The crackdown on unarmed protesters over the past six months has encouraged many soldiers and officers to defect and the government’s irresponsible behaviour has been pushing the uprising to the point of fighting back with arms, Kilo told Gulf News in a phone interview.
Al Arabiya: Is Syria heading towards civil war?
The latest series of assassinations in Syria, including the recent murder of the son of the grand mufti, reveals a muddled and complex picture of the state of the uprising in the country. The killings could lead Syria spiraling down the path of a bloody civil war, with sectarian vendettas likely to characterize the next chapter of the revolution. If, however, it turns out that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is behind the targeted murders, these acts will likely backfire and unite religious sects against the regime.
The flashpoint city of Homs last week was the scene of several targeted assassinations. On Sept. 25, a surgeon at Homs’ general hospital, Hassan Eid, was shot dead as he got into his car. Aws Abdel Karim Khalil, a nuclear engineering specialist and charge d’affaires at al-Baath University, was gunned down as his wife drove him to work. Mohammad Ali Aqil, deputy dean of the architecture faculty, and Nael Dakhil, director of the military petrochemical school, were also killed last week, both the Syrian official news agency and activists reported.
A statement by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights suggested that “extremists” possibly among dissidents could be responsible for the murders. The group called on “everyone to denounce and stop extremists from committing such acts of violence.”
The semblance of a civil war has erupted in Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, where armed protesters now call themselves revolutionaries, gun battles erupt as often as every few hours, security forces and opponents carry out assassinations, and rifles costing as much as $2,000 apiece flood the city from abroad, residents say.