Tag Archives: Syria

Syria forces killed 28 protesters, says rights activist

Syria forces killed 28 protesters, says rights activist

NICOSIA – Syrian security forces killed a total of 28 people on Saturday, human rights activists said Sunday. Twenty-six died at the funerals of protesters killed in and around the southern agricultural town of Daraa, while two more were shot dead in the industrial town of Homs, in west central Syria.
“Police and security services broke up peaceful demonstrations on Saturday by firing live ammunition, causing the death of 26 people,” six Syrian human rights group said in a joint

Syria forces killed 26 at protest funerals: rights activist

NICOSIA – Syrian security forces killed 26 people at the funerals on Saturday of protesters killed in and around the southern town of Daraa the previous day, a human rights activist said.
“Police and security services broke up peaceful demonstrations on Saturday by firing live ammunition, causing the death of 26 people,” six Syrian rights group said in a joint statement.
The funerals had been held for 17 people gunned down in the southern agricultural town of Daraa,

Syria braces for ‘Martyrs Week’, general strike in Daraa

NICOSIA – Syria was bracing on Tuesday for a series of demonstrations organised by a Facebook group to mark “Martyrs Week” as the southern town of Daraa held a general strike. “Martyrs Week” is a series of rallies in honour of those killed in security crackdowns on anti-regime demonstrations and is organised by a group calling itself Syrian Revolution 2011.
“We announced (the protests) as peaceful and insist on that,” said a spokesman for the group, which has garnered more than

Syria takes the initiative ahead of protests

DAMASCUS – A new governor has been appointed to the southern town of Daraa, the unexpected hub of the Syrian protest movement, the official SANA news agency reported on Monday, while a Facebook group urged rallies in honour of those killed in the unrest. President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing unprecedented domestic pressure as protesters demand greater freedoms and test his family’s four-decade grip on power, has made a string of gestures hinting at change. He appointed Mohammad

Defiant Syria suburb awaits its protest dead

AMMAN – Hundreds of Syrians chanted “freedom” as they gathered early on Sunday to receive home wounded protesters in Douma, the Damascus suburb taking the fight closest to President Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power.
Some 50 wounded arrived in secret police cars around midnight in Municipality Square, where at least five were killed on Friday when rights activists said security forces fired at protesters demanding political freedoms and an end to graft.
Thousands took to the

Syria in dawn crackdown ahead of protester funerals

DAMASCUS – Syrian security forces made dawn arrests on Saturday as mourners prepared to bury the first of at least nine people killed in anti-government protests on the Muslim day of rest, rights activists said. The arrests came in the tribal region around the town of Daraa, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the capital, which has been one of the main centres of more than two weeks of demonstrations. A 20-year-old who was killed by security forces during a protest in Sanamein,

Thousands defy Assad to protest in Syria

DAMASCUS – Thousands of Syrians emerged from prayers to protest in the country’s north and south on Friday, in the first rallies since President Bashar al-Assad dashed hopes for greater freedoms. Witnesses in Daraa, one of the main focal points of rising dissent, told AFP that thousands of faithful gathered outside the flashpoint southern town’s courthouse after leaving a mosque.
“Death rather than humiliation,” and “National Unity,” they shouted.Chants were also directed against

Turkey kills seven Kurd fighters crossing from Syria

ISTANBUL – Turkish security forces killed seven Kurdish militants early on Friday after a large group of PKK fighters crossed over the border from Syria, Turkish military officials said.
It was the largest number killed in a firefight with the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, since last summer. The PKK called off a six-month long ceasefire in February raising fears that violence would pick up before a national election in Turkey on June 12. Military operations were continuing

Hundreds defy Assad to protest in Syria

DAMASCUS – Hundreds of Syrians emerged from prayers on Friday to protest, including in the flashpoint town of Daraa, in the first rallies since President Bashar al-Assad dashed hopes for greater freedoms.
Witnesses in Daraa, a southern town that has been one of the main focal points of rising dissent, said hundreds of faithful gathered after leaving a mosque.
“Death rather than humiliation,” and “National Unity,” they shouted.
Chants were also directed against Assad,

Syria says to probe deaths in protest cities

DAMASCUS – Syria is launching an immediate probe into the deaths of “civilians and troops” in Daraa and Latakia, two cities that have emerged as the focal points of protests, state media reported Thursday.
“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has charged the head of the judges’ council with forming a committee to begin an investigation, effective immediately, into the deaths of civilians and troops in the governorates of Daraa and Latakia,” read a report on the state-run SANA news

Decision already made to lift emergency law in Syria

DAMASCUS/AMMAN – The decision to lift emergency rule in Syria, which has been in place since 1963, has “already been made”, a presidential adviser said Sunday. “The decision to lift the emergency law has already been made. But I do not know about the time frame,” Buthaina Shaaban told AFP in an interview at her office.
Syria’s emergency law, put in place when the ruling Baath party rose to power in March 1963, imposes restrictions on public gatherings and movement and authorises

Syria frees 260 detainees in overture to protesters

DAMASCUS – Syria freed 260 political detainees in the biggest overture yet to protesters demanding reform in the country, where President Bashar al-Assad is facing unprecedented domestic pressure. “Syrian authorities have freed 260 detainees from Saydnaya prison, mainly Islamists but also including 14 Kurds, in a move that comes as part of the promises authorities made recently to boost freedom in Syria,” Abdul Karim Rihawi, president of the Syrian League for the Defence of Human

UN rights chief warns Syria of ‘downward spiral’

GENEVA – UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Saturday warned Syria that a violent crackdown on reformist protests risked plunging the country into a downward spiral of violence. The High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Syria “to draw lessons from recent events across the Middle East and North Africa which clearly demonstrate that violent repression of peaceful protest not only does not resolve the grievances of people taking to the streets, it risks creating a downward spiral of

20,000 gather for burials in Syria protest city: activists

DAMASCUS – Some 20,000 people gathered in the Syrian city of Daraa on Thursday for the burial of victims killed by police gunfire the day before, chanting support for a rising anti-regime movement there, rights activists said.
One activist in Daraa, contacted by telephone, said the mourners made their way
from the Omari mosque, where protesters have been holed up for a week, to the burial grounds under pouring rain, chanting: “With our souls, with our blood, we are loyal to

Iran, Syria in focus at N-watchdog moot

VIENNA – Iran and Syria found themselves in the spotlight on Monday as the UN nuclear watchdog convened for its traditional week-long spring meeting. The International Atomic Energy Agengy’s 35-member board of governors was set to discuss two new reports showing little or no progress in the watchdog’s long-running investigations into Iran’s controversial atomic programme and allegations of illicit nuclear activity on the part of Syria.
In his opening address to the closed-door

Russia vows to sell missiles to Syria

MOSCOW – Russia announced on Saturday that it intended to fulfil its contract to supply Syria with cruise missiles despite the turmoil shaking the Arab world and Israel’s furious condemnation of the deal.
“The contract is in the implementation stage,” news agencies quoted Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying. Russia initially agreed to send a large shipment of anti-ship Yakhont cruise missiles to Syria in 2007 under the terms of a controversial deal that was only

Syria still stonewalling UN nuclear probe

VIENNA – Syria has snubbed a request by UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano for prompt access to a suspect nuclear site and a number of other locations, diplomats said on Tuesday. After more than two years of deadlock on the issue, Syria could find itself under intensified scrutiny at a meeting of the 35-member board of governors of Viennna-based International Atomic Energy Agency next month.
A number of countries could start even pushing for a possible resolution against

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