Assad regime has forfeited legitimacy
Published 23/02/2012 | 05:00
While it is still too early to come to any definitive conclusions on the matter, yesterday's deaths of journalists Marie Colvin and Reme Ochlik raise fresh questions about the tactics being used by the Assad regime to quell the Syrian uprising.
Even if early reports that the two journalists were specifically targeted by the Syrian security forces in order to dissuade Western journalists from reporting on the rapidly-worsening conflict prove to be inaccurate, any government that uses artillery against its own citizens in a built-up area has forfeited any remaining vestige of legitimacy. Ms Colvin and Mr Ochlik are merely the latest of the more than 7,000 victims of the Syrian uprising which has now entered its second year. What started as spontaneous civilian demonstrations against the Assad family dictatorship has gradually morphed into something much more serious.
As the trickle of defectors from the Assad regime to the Free Syrian Army has gradually increased we are witnessing the beginnings of a full-scale civil war.