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Anonymous hacktivists hit Syrian Ministry of Defense

The pressure on Syria is mounting. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain have all just recalled their ambassadors following a bloody weekend that saw at least 100 pro-democracy protesters killed, according to activists on the ground.

On top of that, Anonymous took over the Syrian Ministry of Defense website, which is now offline. Before the site was taken down, however, the hackers posted an interesting message—in both Arabic and English—that shows the group has a grounding in the dynamics of nonviolent conflict. The message reads:

“To the Syrian people: The world stands with you against the brutal regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Know that time and history are on your side – tyrants use violence because they have nothing else, and the more violent they are, the more fragile they become. We salute your determination to be non-violent in the face of the regime’s brutality, and admire your willingness to pursue justice, not mere revenge. All tyrants will fall, and thanks to your bravery Bashar Al-Assad is next. To the Syrian military: You are responsible for protecting the Syrian people, and anyone who orders you to kill women, children, and the elderly deserves to be tried for treason. No outside enemy could do as much damage to Syria as Bashar Al-Assad has done. Defend your country – rise up against the regime! – Anonymous”

In effect, Anonymous mentions the “paradox of repression,” calls on the protesters to maintain their nonviolent discipline and urges members of the security apparatus to defect.

In addition to this message, The Next Web writes that at the top of the Ministry of Defense’s page Anonymous posted scrolling “links to videos illustrating the unrest, deaths and civil injustice in the country,” and at the foot of the page were “a number of links to protest group websites, Facebook pages and Twitter profiles all campaigning against the actions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the military.” Well done!