Syria: Military Units Fight Each Other
The civilian uprising for freedom in Syria has taken a darker turn. It could indicate that a civil war may engulf the country. Up until now, Syria's military, a staunch supporter of President Assad, have done what he has ordered to stomp out the riots in Daraa, where the freedom uprising began.
To date, 450 have been killed, 100 in Darra alone and thousands have been tossed into jail for flimsy reasons since mid-March. Assad's military has been his one ace as far as using brute force to suppress the rioters. Over 200 low level members of the ruling Baath party have resigned.
Even the military has now taken sides. Several battalions from the 5th Division, made up of conscript soldiers, have refused orders to fire upon and attack fellow citizens in Daraa, a city of 75,000. When the 4th Division arrived nearby (commanded by Assad's brother) the two units began to fire upon one another in the area of the Omari mosque in a sort of skirmish. The soldiers of the 5th Division do not feel the people involved in the uprisings are terrorists but ordinary people who want reform and freedom. The 4th Division feels the opposite.
Syrian TV has broadcasted that thugs and foreigners are the reason for the freedom uprising, this is the same reason Egyptian TV told its public before Mubarak left.