This is the new style that Assef Chawkat, the head of the military security apparatus which we now know was behind the dramatic disappearance of Ali and his two sons, seems to have selected for dealing with all those dissidents who were daring enough to try to bridge the gulf between the internal and external opposition groups, even when their efforts were not necessarily that successful. For, unlike his former comrade in arms, Riyad al-Turk, Fateh’s enduring old-style communist predilections had already constrained his abilities to enter into serious dialogue or strike a serious deal with any of the existing groups in Europe.
Still, it is the thought that counts. Fateh had tried and this suffices. The crackdown will continue, the intimidation, the sowing of fear. Fear, the Assad regime’s most successful crop to date.
But then, the perseverance of the dissidents, and the proliferation of local unrest, might just indicate that even this crop is failing these days. Things seem to be unraveling.