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n February 1982 the secular Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad faced a mortal threat from Islamic extremists, who sought to topple the Assad regime. How did it respond? President Assad identified the rebellion as emanating from Syria's fourth-largest city — Hama — and he literally leveled it, pounding the fundamentalist neighborhoods with artillery for days. Once the guns fell silent, he plowed up the rubble and bulldozed it flat, into vast parking lots. Amnesty International estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed in the merciless crackdown. Syria has not had a Muslim extremist problem since.
In 1970, General Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, seized power; in 1973 violent demonstrations broke out again in response to a proposed constitution that did not require the president to be a Muslim. Syria's intervention in the Lebanese civil war in 1976 on the side of the Maronites (and hence technically on the side of Israel) sparked renewed agitation in Syria, and assassinations began to target members of the Syrian regime and prominent Alawites; the Muslim Brotherhood later claimed responsibility for most of these. (Carré 1983, 131-135, 156; ICG 11 February 2004, 3-4)
On 16 June 1979, the Muslim Brotherhood carried out an attack on an artillery school in Aleppo, killing 83 Alawite cadets. The government responded by sentencing about 15 prisoners, who had already been accused of being Iraqi agents, to death for belonging to the Islamic resistance movement. Terrorist attacks then became a daily occurrence, particularly in Aleppo and other northern cities.
In June 1980, the Brotherhood tried and failed to assassinate president Assad. The military retaliated by massacring between 500 and 1,100 prisoners, mostly Muslim Brothers or others allied with them, in the prison of Palmyra. The Syrian public did not find out about this until January 1981, when some of the soldiers who had carried out the massacre were arrested in Jordan for attempting to assassinate the Jordanian prime minister, Mudar Badran, who the Syrian government accused of supporting the Brotherhood, and an interrogation of the soldiers was broadcast on Jordanian television. (Carré 1983, 146-148)
In August, September and November 1981, the Brotherhood carried out three car-bomb attacks against government and military targets in Damascus, killing hundreds of people, according to the official press. On 2 February 1982, the Brotherhood led a major insurrection in Hama, rapidly taking control of the city; the military responded by bombing Hama (whose population was about 250,000) throughout the rest of the month, killing between 10,000 and 30,000 people. The tragedy of Hama marked the defeat of the Brotherhood, and the militant Islamic movement in general, as a political force in Syria. (Carré 1983, 159; ICG 11 February 2004, 4)
Originally posted by skippytjc
Your consistency Aceofbase is uncanny.
You don’t even touch the actual topic: