Ahmed Khalaf, a lieutenant in the Syrian army said that he was ordered to command his soldiers to shoot indiscriminately at everyone in Deraa, including women and children, London based Asharq Alawsat reported on Saturday.Wasn't the threat of genocide precisely the reason that President Obama deployed U.S. forces against Libya? Didn't he go on national television to tell us that we could not permit Qaddafi to just slaughter his own people?
"I, along with other officers, was ordered by our commanders to commit genocide in Deraa and was told not to spare women and children."
In an interview with Asharq Alawsat, Khalaf claimed that he told his commander that he followed orders while secretly telling his soldiers not to fire on anyone. However, when he was found out and put under house arrest he understood that he had to flee the country.
Khalaf explained that hundreds of Sunni officers are sitting in jails around Syria for refusing to obey orders to fire on civilians, and claims that "4,500 soldiers have defected in the Damascus area."
Lieutenant Khalaf managed to escape from Syria is currently hiding in an undisclosed location.
It sure would be helpful and reassuring if he would explain what principles, if indeed there are any, govern his decision to order military intervention, or, failing that, at least get off the golf course long enough to condemn Assad every day for what he's doing to these people.
As it is, Mr. Obama is giving the impression of really not caring much about the plight of the Syrian people and of just making his foreign policy up as he goes along.