Assad continues to kill civilians

Assad continues to kill civilians

By | 2011-08-05T06:33:30+00:00 August 5th, 2011|News|0 Comments

MUSTAPHA AJBAILI -Al Arabiya – Agencies

Killed by Syrian regime

Syrian military forces killed at least four civilians and wounded dozens on Wednesday night as army tanks stormed several cities to clamp down on anti-regime protests regularly being staged after Ramadan night prayers. The UN Security Council, meanwhile, added its weight to the growing international outcry, condemning the attacks on civilians. Four “martyrs” fell and “dozens were wounded by shots from the security forces” during demonstrations in Damascus, in rural Daraa province in the south and in Palmyra in central Syria, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The number of victims could rise, Mr. Rahman told AFP when reached by telephone from Nicosia, as demonstrations had taken place all over Syria and dozens of people had been arrested. On Monday, dissidents announced on Facebook that they would demonstrate every evening after the Tarawih prayers that Muslims perform every night during the holy month of Ramadan in addition to regular prayers. The United Nations condemned the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown on protests and called for those responsible to be held “accountable,” as tanks stormed the protest hub of Hama. Mr. Rahman said 500 families had left Hama, a city 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Damascus, after tanks surrounded it and all communications were cut off in the wake of major protests against the government in recent weeks. The demonstrations were crushed Sunday by the army in an operation that saw some 100 demonstrators lose their lives. Mobile phone communications were re-established late Wednesday in Hama. Mr. Rahman said some 40,000 people demonstrated in the central town of Homs, where at least one person was wounded by security forces. Syrian Human Rights League chairman Abdel Karim Rihawi meanwhile indicated that 50,000 people demonstrated in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, encircled by troops, while another 20,000 turned out in Duma 15 kilometers (nine miles) north of Damascus, and hundreds in Homs. After months of deadlock, the UN Security Council finally responded to the escalating violence in Syria on Wednesday, condemning President Bashar Assad’s forces for attacking civilians and committing human rights violations. The trigger for the council to act was the military assault launched by the Syrian government over the weekend against the city of Hama, 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the capital Damascus, which has a history of defiance. The offensive by Syrian forces, backed by tanks and snipers, was continuing Wednesday with reports of at least 100 dead in four days. The presidential statement adopted by the Security Council calls on Syrian authorities to immediately end all violence and launch an inclusive political process that will allow the Syrian people to fully exercise “fundamental freedoms … including that of expression and peaceful assembly.” President Assad’s regime has been using force since mid-March to put down citizen protests demanding political reforms, and activists say some 1,700 civilians have been killed. The Syrian leader has promised reforms, but the council expressed regret at “the lack of progress” in implementing them and called on President Assad to keep his word.