Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Syrian army burst into the city of Banias

Cairo .- The Syrian Army troops were deployed Saturday in various parts of the country and raided the coastal city of Banias, where there have been strong protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, according to human rights activists. The president of the Syrian Human Rights Committee, Safura Walid, told the Qatari television channel Al Jazeera that "the security forces entered parts of Banias, which give this action a sectarian character." Safura not specify which part of the city south of Latakia, had broken the security forces, but opposition sources pointed out that it is the Sunni neighborhoods.

Most of the Syrian population is Sunni, but the regime is cornered by the Alawite minority (an offshoot of Shiism), which belongs to the Al Asad. Political protests, which began in the middle of last March, sectarian tensions have been rekindled for the first time in decades in Syria, where there are also significant Kurdish and Christian minorities.

Safura, whose organization is based in London, explained that the security forces cut communications, electricity and water in Banias. This action echoes what happened in the southern city of Dera, near the border with Jordan and besieged by the army since 25 April. The network opposition "Sham" reported today that there are tanks and members of security forces in the streets of both the city of Dera as other areas of this province, the epicenter of the revolt against the Syrian regime.

In Deraa, telephone communications and Internet access have been cut off for days and residents reported an untenable situation aggravated by the lack of food and medicines. Although two days ago a military source said troops had begun a gradual withdrawal of the city, the opposition activists continue to claim that many members of the Army Deraa.

The redeployment of troops comes a day after tens of thousands of people out into the streets to demand the downfall of Al Asad on a day dubbed "Friday the challenge." Yesterday, the repression of the security forces against protesters claimed at least thirty victims in the cities of Homs and Hama, north of Damascus, although opposition groups and human rights have not issued the final figure.

EE. UU. says it will take medidasLa White House on Saturday said the Syrian Government to take "additional measures" unless the continued use of violence and arrests of protesters demanding democratic reforms in the Arab country. In a statement, White House spokesman, Jay Carney, said that "Syria's deplorable acts against its people deserve a strong international response." Unless there is a "significant change" in the present attitude of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, including ending the killings of demonstrators by security forces and the arrest and harassment of activists, as well as meaningful political reform, "U.S.

and its international partners take additional steps," said Carney. In this regard, welcomes U.S. sanctions adopted today by the European Union, said Carney. U.S. President Barack Obama has already signed the April 29 executive order imposing sanctions against entities and individuals of the Syrian regime.

The Damascus government, said the spokesman, "continues along the lines of its ally Iran to resort to brute force and gross violations of human rights to suppress peaceful protests." During the past two weeks, he said, "it has become abundantly clear that the safety campaign by the Syrian government and restore stability and stop the demands for change in Syria." It is also clear, he said, that "false claims of reforms', as the end of the Emergency Law while increasing arrests without warrants," nor satisfy the demands for change in Syria.

" In its statement, the spokesman paid tribute to the courage of the protesters by insisting on their right to free speech and regretted "the loss of lives on all sides." For his part, State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said in his daily press conference that the American mission in Syria is "pressuring the government to end violence against innocent citizens who are simply trying to express their aspirations for a more democratic future.

" Toner expressed "concern" of the United States for the arrest of Al Jazeera journalist Dorothy Parvaz, triple nationality American, Canadian and Iranian, and said he has requested consular access to the Syrian authorities. Tens of thousands of people braved the Syrian regime today and took to the streets of several cities to demand the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, despite the military crackdown of the protests, which left over two dozen dead.

In this new day of protest called by opposition groups and named as "Friday the challenge", the demonstrations spread to many cities, but the bloodiest episodes occurred in the cities of Homs and Hama, north of Damascus.

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