Intent on crushing the four-month-old Syrian uprising prior to the beginning of Ramadan, one day before the beginning of the Holy Month, Syrian government troops launched a full-scale scale assault on the cities of Dara’a, Deir al-Zour and Hama. What President Bashar al-Assad could not do through a series of weak and mostly illusory reforms they are hoping to accomplish by force and brutality – to silence protesters during this, the Islamic month of spiritual reflection, purity, sacrifice and worship.
Many in Syria had believed that the government would not attempt to attack Hama. The city is a historic symbol of the Syrian regime’s brutality. Nearly 30 years ago, Hafez al-Assad, the current President's father, ordered a crackdown in Hama that ended with a massacre of over 20,000 of the city's residents.
In 1982, the people of Hama revolted against a system under which they were severely under-represented in the government. Four months ago, the people of Syria rose up against a similar status quo, and demanded a representative, democratically elected government that will put an end to the endemic corruption, injustice and poverty of the current system.
"I am appalled by the Syrian government’s use of violence and brutality against its own people," said President Barack Obama. "The reports out of Hama are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime.
"Once again, President [Bashar al] Assad has shown that he is completely incapable and unwilling to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people. His use of torture, corruption and terror puts him on the wrong side of history and his people. Through his own actions, Bashar al-Assad is ensuring that he and his regime will be left in the past, and that the courageous Syrian people who have demonstrated in the streets will determine its future," said President Obama.
"Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward. In the days ahead, the United States will continue to increase pressure on the Syrian regime, and work with others around the world to isolate the Assad government and stand with the Syrian people."