Syrian military forces continued their attack on the city of Hama on Saturday, killing at least another 24 pro-democracy protesters. At least 300 people have been killed and 1,000 families have fled since tanks initially descended on Hama, shelling innocent people. Since the start of the protests, estimates are as high as 2,000 dead.
The regime of Bashar al-Assad has cut off electricity, phone services, and internet, is blocking other essential supplies like fuel to the city of 800,000. Generators in the hospital have run out of fuel resulting in many newborn babies dying and terrified residents have resorted to burying their loved ones in parks, too afraid to be in open graveyards.
The Obama administration has leveled another set of sanctions on the Assad regime and Turkey, an old ally of Syria, has cut off arms shipments. Syrian state television aired for the first time footage of Hama, showing burned buildings, makeshift barricades and deserted streets strewn with rubble in apparent attempt to show the success of security forces in suppressing the “rebellion.”
Although no announcements have been made, there are some reports that NATO is planning a military campaign to overthrow the Assad regime. Stretched thin already, NATO may do just that if other means are ineffective in stopping these massacres, although no estimate can predict how much worse such an intervention could make the situation on the ground.