On the first day of the Holy Month Ramadan the Syrian army stormed the City of Hama, north of Damascus, with troops and tanks, killing at least 130 people, according to human rights activists ion the city.
The attack came after the city of 700,000 was besieged for nearly a month. In the early hours of today, 1 August, tanks crushed barricades and started shooting at buildings. According to eyewitnesses snipers on rooftops are targeting civilians, while the official SANA news agency is denying the use of tanks in Hama, saying the army is only targeting ‘terrorists’.
According to a BBC reporter in Lebanon, the inhabitants of Hama are still in possession of most of the city while the Syrian army is still trying to overrun barricades and get a hold kin Hama. Last night the army withdrew to the city limits but started to push in again this morning.
On the political front, German Chancelor Angela Merkel and Turkish Premier Erdogan were among those calling on the Syrian regime to use restraint.
The head of the German intelligence service BND, Ernst Uhrlau, was quoted by Reuters today as saying “I do not see a regime change in the near future”, adding that the ruling Alawite minority around the Assad-Family will cling to power whatever the consequence.