Today the Syrian military has once again bombed and shelled Ras al-Ayn, a town of about 50,000 in northeastern Syria just south of the Turkish-Syrian border.
Since last Thursday dozens have been killed in the bombing and shelling of the town; various reports place the total at about 100. Many of the bombs have been dropped from helicopters and aircraft within 500 meters of the Turkish border and several have been dropped within meters of the border.
Life in Ceylanpinar, the town in Turkey just across the border, has come to a standstill and schools have been ordered closed until at least next Monday.
More than 8,000 Syrians have fled across the border to seek sanctuary on the Turkish side of the border.
Has your appetite for outrage against Syrian President al-Assad been satisfied by this information?
Now let’s take another look at Ras al-Ayn and the recent events there.
Until last Wednesday Ras al-Ayn, a town with a mixed population of Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians and Chechens, had been a quiet peaceful town and its residents had no interest in fighting, battles or uprisings.
The town was under the nominal control of the Syrian government, with a relatively small Syrian military presence, and there was some involvement by Kurdish groups in the administration of the town.
Last Wednesday evening the FSA decided to attack and ‘liberate’ Ras al-Ayn - whether the local residents wanted it or not.
FSA fighters from outside the area began their attack last Wednesday night and, after heavy fighting with the Syrian forces in the town, occupied some parts of the town on Thursday and expanded their control over more of the town on Friday.
Much of the town is now believed to be deserted and under the control of the FSA.
On Thursday the KNC called on all Kurdish residents to leave the town and most did, primarily to the heavily Kurdish areas east of Ras al-Ayn and at least 8,000 residents of the town fled across the border to Ceylanpinar.
During the fighting on Thursday FSA fighters captured a young Syrian soldier and executed him by holding him down on the ground and slitting his throat. One of the FSA fighters thought it would be a good idea to take pictures of this and put them on the internet.
After the FSA had taken control of much of the town, the Syrian military began bombing and shelling the town.
On Friday the FSA began burning the homes of those in the town whom they believed to be their enemies.
The FSA also collected the bodies of the Syrian soldiers who had been killed and the bodies of many civilians who had also been killed in the attack - and were considered to be enemies of the FSA - by piling them up in the back of a pickup truck. The FSA fighters then took them and dumped them into a hole they had dug and buried them. They also thought it would be a good idea to film this.
The two commanders of the FSA fighters who attacked Ras al-Ayn are said to be extremely anti-Kurdish.
According to the local residents in and to the west of Ceylanpinar many of the FSA fighters crossed over the border from Turkey into Syria before they attacked Ras al-Ayn.
According to local residents one of the main reasons the FSA attacked Ras al-Ayn was because it has large stockpiles of wheat and pasta - there is a very large pasta factory in Ras al-Ayn - which the FSA needs in order to survive the winter.
The KNC is reported to be assembling its own fighters to the east of Ras al-Ayn - possibly to try to force the FSA out of Ras al-Ayn, possibly to be in position if the FSA decides to move east and attack towns in the Kurdish controlled areas of northeast Syria.
I have spent quite a lot of time in Ceylanpinar. I have several really good friends there. I have also spent a lot of time sitting near the border (almost everywhere in Ceylanpinar is near the border) and watching the everyday lives of the people in Ras al-Ayn.
I will be away for a while for a meeting. I will respond when I have have time.