The recently released book, Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami mentions the insulting way an official talked to parents who were pleading for mercy for their children who were arrested for making anti-regime graffiti in Deraa in March 2011.
When their parents went to plead with the local head of political security, a cousin of the president called Atef Najib, they were told: 'Forget your children. Go sleep with your wives and new ones, or send them to me and I'll do it.' (Chapter 3.)What a terrible attitude for a public official to have. The abuse of power that sparked a protest that led to this ongoing catastrophe in Syria.
Later protests escalated into deadly confrontations. By March 21 the teenagers had been released but the situation quickly spiraled out of control. What happened in Deraa became the spark that police brutality would inflame into catastrophe.
Tragically the Assad regime chose to respond with violence initiating a horrifying cycle of violence with many Syrians rounded up into prisons in conditions so ghastly that a recent UN report said it might constitute extermination.
This violence seems to be reaching a terrible climax with a severe offensive against northern Aleppo.
This is so terrible. Who will protect the Syrians from the Assad regime? Syrians deserve to live in peace and safety.