Mutiny in Syria
Defections in Rastan, which is a well known recruiting centre for the army, are the most recent reports of mutiny which one analyst said may indicate that the regime’s grip on the military was weakening.That does not sound like enough to be a threat to the despots in Damascus, but it is apparently enough to frighten them into a disproportionate response. I will not hold my breath waiting for a condemnation of the Syrian action. If the mutiny spreads is could be a real threat to the regime.
At dawn, about 40 light tanks and armoured vehicles and 20 buses of troops deployed at the southern entrance to Rastan, which is approximately 12 miles north of the city of Homs.
“The tanks deployed at both banks of the highway, which remained open, and fired long bursts from their machine guns at Rastan,” said one witness.
Residents fled in fear as the armoured column attacked.
Water and electricity to the town, which has a population of about 30,000 people, had been cut, said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Estimates of the number of defectors in the town varied from four to dozens.