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Ear to the Ground

Syrian Security Forces Besiege City With Tanks, Snipers

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Posted on Apr 30, 2011
Al-Jazeera

Security forces and protesters clash in Deraa, Syria.

The city of Deraa, where Syria’s anti-government protest movement began nearly two months ago, has become a giant death trap, with tanks leveling entire neighborhoods and snipers taking out anyone in their sights. The city has no power and is running out of food and water. Meanwhile, bodies of residents and protesters are piling up, as security forces have orders to shoot anyone who tries to bury the dead.

But the crackdown is not without repercussions: There are reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is facing unprecedented dissent within the military and government. “The largest funerals in Syria so far have been for soldiers who have refused to obey orders to shoot protesters and were summarily executed on the spot,” a senior diplomat told the Globe and Mail—YL

The Telegraph:


Yesterday, though, as Syrian security forces drew their stranglehold ever tighter, helicopters backed by tanks dropped troops onto the mosque’s grey ramparts, in what seemed to be a symbolic move to stamp their authority on the town. After spraying the Roman quarter with shellfire, and killing a mother and two children in the process, the soldiers converted the Omari’s minaret to a different purpose - as yet another snipers’ nest from which to terrify the city.

“There are snipers on the roof of the mosque,” said one eyewitness, sobbing over the phone as he spoke. “My family and friends are being slaughtered.”

This was the scene in Deraa yesterday, where a growing picture of horror is emerging as Syrian governnment forces relentlessly punish the city that hosted the first protests against President Bashar al Assad’s dictatorial rule in late March.

Since the arrival on Monday of the feared 4th Brigade, controlled by President Assad’s brother, Maher, the reprisals have grown ever fiercer. Deraa’s 120,000 residents say their town is now effectively one giant prison, with rooftop snipers shooting anyone who strays into their sights. Troops have also cut off power supplies, blown up water tanks, and raided bakeries, milk depots and food shops, in a systematic bid to starve them out. “We are living in the dark, suffering boredom and fear,” one resident told The Sunday Telegraph. “If you go out, you know you will probably die. But if we stay at home, we will probably also die. We are running out of food, of water, of medicine.”

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By Jim Yell, May 1, 2011 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Bashar al Assad’s posture of balanced government before the Internation Community has fairly been destroyed by his heavy handed grasp to hold on to total power.

For a long time he had seemed a step above the others, but now he has presented himself as just one more mobster, working one more scam, one more extortion.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, May 1, 2011 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

A good case for minimal gun laws.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, May 1, 2011 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

samosamo,

Here we have information on Syrian soldiers who have refused to obey orders to shoot protesters, and were summarily executed, and most TruthDig regulars, will turn this into a story about themselves and how they feel about Amerika.

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By diamond, April 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Assad is doomed: if not this year then the next or the one after that. You have to remember that this idiot was handed power by his father, as if he was a king and his son was a prince. You also need to remember that the Syrian ‘royals’ had 30,000 of their own people killed in a similar uprising in the eighties. The courage of those who went out into the streets to bring Assad down is astonishing. They know that this regime doesn’t give a shit about killing thousands of its own people but all that blood Assad is spilling will eventually drown him - and might even see him end up in the Hague.

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By samosamo, April 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

****************


Hey o! How long before you crank up war number 6 or will be
seven? Let me see, Iraq, Afghanistan, may as well include
Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and as i said before you how long
before you put syria on your resume’. So maybe 6 but while
what’s his face and what’s her name are deflecting so much
attention you may as well crank up syria while no one is
looking. No, it can be 7, I forgot about you and your corporate
general’s war on american lower classes, you know the ones
both of you want to just ‘disappear’.

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