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Syrian Revolution Against Assad Dictatorial Regime in Full Force, Protests in Most Cities

April 9, 2011

Syrian rights group says funeral comes under fire

Apr 9, 2011, 12:25 PM EDT

By ZEINA KARAM Associated Press


Syrian security forces fired live ammunition Saturday to disperse a funeral march for some of the 37 people killed a day earlier in the single bloodiest day of the country's three-week anti-government uprising, a human rights group said.

Several people were wounded in the shooting in Daraa, said Ammar Qurabi, head of Syria's National Organization for Human Rights. The group's information was from residents and witnesses in the city.

Further details on the shooting were not immediately available. Telephone calls to Dara'a were not going through, and the Syrian government has placed severe restrictions on media coverage in the country.

Dara'a has become a flash point for violence, which the government blames on armed gangs rather than true reform-seekers.

Still, the calls for political reform have shaken President Bashar Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for more than 40 years.

As the wave of protests gathers steam, Assad has offered some concessions such as firing local officials and forming committees to look into replacing the country's despised emergency laws.

On Saturday, he referred fired Daraa governor Faisal Kalthoum and former security officer Atef Najib to court to investigate their role in igniting and handling protests in the city, a security official said. Assad had fired Kalthoum on March 23.

But those gestures have failed to appease a growing movement that is raising the ceiling on its demands for concrete reforms and free elections.

On Friday, witnesses said security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters in Daraa, killing 25 people and wounding hundreds. The government gave a different account, saying 19 policemen and members of the security forces as well as a number of civilians were killed when gunmen opened fire on them.

The differing accounts could not be independently verified. But it was the first significant claim of casualties by the government and could signal plans for a stronger crackdown. State TV showed what it called vandals setting fire to the Radio and TV building in Daraa and what it said were gunmen shooting randomly in the central city of Homs.

Friday's bloodshed marked a clear escalation of the unrest in Syria, one of the most authoritarian regimes in the Middle East. More than 170 people have been killed since the protests began, human rights groups say.

Activists seeking to break Assad's iron-fisted rule called for daily protests Saturday to ramp up pressure on the regime. So far, crowds have only gathered in serious numbers on Fridays.

But the rallying cry was met with a sharp warning by Syrian authorities that they would crush further unrest, raising the risks of more bloodshed.

Early Saturday, security forces fired live ammunition to disperse hundreds of protesters in the key port city of Latakia - the heartland of the ruling elite.

Residents reported hearing hours of heavy gunfire overnight as security forces forcefully broke up the sit-in.

"The shooting went on for almost two hours, it was frightening," said one resident, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. There was no immediate word on casualties from the shooting.

Latakia is significant because the province has strong historical ties to Assad's minority Alawite sect, which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Latakia is now home to a diverse mix of religious groups, with mostly Sunni Muslims in the urban core and Alawites in the countryside. At least 12 people died in clashes in the city two weeks ago, raising fears that the violence could take on a sectarian tone in coming days or weeks.

In a signal of an increasingly tough line, Syria's Interior Ministry said it will not tolerate "the intentional mixing between peaceful protests and sabotage and sowing sectarian strife."

"Syrian authorities will confront those people and those that stand behind them," the statement added.

The editor-in-chief of the state-run Tishrin newspaper was fired Saturday after giving an interview to Al-Jazeera satellite station in which she held security forces responsible for Friday's violence in Daraa.

An official at the newspaper confirmed Saturday that Samira Masalmeh, who is from Daraa, was fired because of the interview. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to release the information.


AP writer Elizabeth A. Kennedy in Cairo contributed to this report.


Syrian forces fire at mourners after mass funeral

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Suleiman al-Khalidi

AMMAN | Sat Apr 9, 2011 12:39pm EDT

AMMAN (Reuters) -

Syrian security forces opened fire on mourners near a mosque in the flashpoint city of Deraa after a mass funeral for pro-democracy protesters, two witnesses said on Saturday.

Security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse thousands of people who were chanting freedom slogans after assembling near the old Omari mosque in the old quarter of the city, near the border with Jordan, the witnesses said.

Dozens of people have been killed in a wave of protests across Syria against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

A Syrian rights group said at least 37 people had been killed in protests across the country on Friday.

"Syrian security committed (in Deraa) what could be called a crime against humanity," the National Organization for Human Rights said in a statement. "It fired indiscriminately on protesters and killed and wounded tens of them."

State television for its part said armed groups had killed 19 policemen and wounded 75 in the city. The Interior Ministry warned it would not tolerate breaches of the law and would deal with "armed groups," state news agency SANA said.


A witness in Deraa said he had seen at least four youths wounded by snipers being taken by protesters to a nearby clinic.

Residents say people avoid taking many of the wounded to state-run hospitals for fear the injured will be arrested by plain clothes security personnel stationed in hospitals.

Popular demonstrations calling for greater freedom, inspired by Arab uprisings that began in Tunisia and Egypt, have shaken Syria. Assad has responded with a mixture of force against protesters, gestures toward political reform and concessions to conservative Muslims, including closing Syria's only casino.

In the early hours of Saturday, security forces used live ammunition to disperse hundreds of people in Latakia, causing scores of injuries and possible deaths, residents said.

One witness said he had seen water trucks washing blood off the streets near Takhasussieh School in the Sleibeh district.

"You can't go two steps on the street without risking arrest," a resident said. "It's difficult to know if there were deaths, but we heard heavy AK-47 fire."

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned the violence, urging Syria to implement "meaningful political reforms."

A key demand of the protesters is the repeal of emergency laws. Assad has ordered a committee to study replacing it with anti-terrorism legislation, but critics say it will probably grant the state many of the same powers.



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Videos of the Syrian Revolution in Various Cities

April 9, 2011

The following are videos showing the Syrian Revolution protesters in various Syrian cities calling for an end to the dictatorial regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

The videos were published in the Syrian people's news agency, Shaam SNN, at:

شام - درعا - الكرك - زفاف الشهيد طه سليمان السلامات 9-4-2011

Syrian Revolution protesters in Dara'a
شام : بانياس : ليوث الساحل مستمرون 9-4-2011 ج2

Syrian Revolution protesters in Banyas

شام : درعا : شاهدوا الاعتداء على الجرحى خلف المشفى الوطني في درعا من قبل قوات الأمن وأحد عناصر الجيش يحميهم ... !!!!!!!!!
شام - درعا - قوات الأمن تمارس فنون حماية المواطن 8-4-2011

Syrian Revolution protesters in Dara'a

شام : بانياس : ليوث الساحل مستمرون 9-4-2011 ج1
شام - بانياس - ليوث الساحل مستمرون 9-4-2011 ج

Syrian Revolution protesters in Banyas

شام : دوما : لحظات استشهاد البطل نعيم المقدم 1-4-2011
شام - دوما - لحظات استشهاد البطل نعيم المقدم 1-4-2011

Syrian Revolution protesters in Douma
مقابلة تفصيلية مع شاهد حيّ من أحرار دوما في 6 نيسان 2011.. أُصيب برصاصتَين ثم ضربوه على إصاباته واعتقلوه

Syrian Revolution protesters in Douma

شام : حماة : مدينة السلمية جمعة الصمود 8-4 جـ2
شام - حماه - مدينة السلمية جمعة الصمود 8-4 جـ2

Syrian Revolution protesters in Hamah

شام : درعا : نشميات حوران شقائق الرجال 9-4-2011 ج1
شام - درعا - نشميات حوران شقائق الرجال 9-4-2011 ج1

Syrian Revolution protesters in Dara'a


France 24 Videos:

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