Defectors besieged near Syria capital

By Zeina Karam, Associated Press

“The current battles taking place in and around Damascus may not yet lead to the unraveling of the regime, but the illusion of normalcy that the Assads have sought hard to maintain in the capital since the beginning of the revolution has surely unraveled,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a U.S.-based Syrian dissident.

“Once illusions unravel, reality soon follows,” he wrote in his blog Sunday.

Syrian Expats Lend Support to Protests From Abroad

Quoted by Jeff Swicord, VOA

For many Syrian dissidents scattered around the world, the anti-government backlash in Syria is bittersweet.  They support political change at home, but they are horrified by the government’s brutal crackdown.

From the basement office of his home in the U.S., Ammar Abdulhamid does his part to support what he calls the Syrian revolution.  Like many Syrian expatriates, Abdulhamid keeps in regular contact with people inside the country, following events and forwarding what he learns through his blog: Syrian Revolution Digest. Continue reading “Syrian Expats Lend Support to Protests From Abroad”

How U.S. can help stop bloodshed in Syria

By Ammar Abdulhamid and Ken Ballen, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian activist, author of the daily blog Syrian Revolution Digest and a fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Ken Ballen, author of the book “Terrorists in Love” (Free Press, 2011), is president of Terror Free Tomorrow, a nonprofit institute that researches attitudes toward extremism, including in Syria.

(CNN) — After more than six months of silence, Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, spoke last week for only the fourth time since the beginning of the country’s widespread uprising in March. His words show that he is as delusional now as when the protests began. Continue reading “How U.S. can help stop bloodshed in Syria”

U.N. chief calls on Syria to stop killings as Assad issues amnesty

A mention in The Los Angeles Times:

It was Assad’s third amnesty offer in the last 10 months. Activists remain skeptical and claim few detainees have been freed after earlier orders. No lists with names of released detainees appear to have have been published. Assad, who succeeded his late father Hafez in 2000, has also vowed to hold parliamentary elections under new constitutional principles later this year. Continue reading “U.N. chief calls on Syria to stop killings as Assad issues amnesty”