the fog of war overlaying the city is also giving birth to addicting reports of mutiny in the ranks, pitting one army division against another.
The reports tell of a few defections from the ranks of the 5th Division mushrooming into a full-fledged mutiny, when few high-ranking officers decided that defecting is not enough and that they had a duty to protect the city and its unarmed residents from the vicious assault of pro-Assad troops making up the 4th Division and lead by none other than Maher Al-Assad, the brother of the titular president.
The reports do not stop here, but go on to tell of the capture or at least trapping of Maher al-Assad, and one Rustom Ghazali, the acting chief of political security assigned to deal with the protests in Deraa.
Al Jazeera even aired eyewitness testimony confirming some aspects of this, while the Syrian opposition channel, Barada TV, seemed to endorse the reports as factual. Facebook chat groups are naturally abuzz at this stage.
Considering the volatility of the current situation and the fact that these kind of reports are not exactly unusual in these circumstances, one is tempted to dismiss them in their entirety.
But it must be borne in mind that the reports of the mutiny itself have been around for about 48 hours now.
The fact that the protest movement is banking on splitting the army, if not completely winning it over to their side, and the fact that this report is allowed to be circulated unchallenged for so long lends it some credibility.
Other than the massacres perpetrated by Assad thugs, there are some strange going-ons in Deraa that seem to warrant further investigations.
Be that as it may, the show of force in Deraa, and another one in the Damascene suburb of Douma, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale, did not prevent protesters from keeping up the daily routine of showing solidarity, defying odds and snipers, and demanding an end to the Assad rule.
The Ramleh neighborhood in Lattakia has witnessed such a protest, but according to eyewitness reports, it was quickly and violently put down by security forces and Shabiha gangs.
The situation somewhat was more peaceful in other parts of Syria, including the Damascene suburbs of Tal and Zabadani, other towns and cities in Deraa Province, including Jassem and Ankhel, as well as the cities of Banyas, Amoudeh and Homs.
It is as though protesters throughout Syria are telling the Assads to take their security forces, unofficial militias and loyal army divisions and shove them where the sun does not shine, pardon my Syrian.