Syria Warns Protesters of Looming ‘Massacre’
Mere days after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hit the American airwaves to claim his innocence in his country’s recent deadly crackdowns on protesters calling for regime change, his opposition in the volatile city of Homs was told of an upcoming massacre if it didn’t stop demonstrating in three days. –KA
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On Friday, the security forces tried to curb the unrest by issuing an explicit threat. “We have been given 72 hours to stop protesting, or they are going to hit us hard,” said an opposition activist in Homs going by the name Abu Rami.
Nonetheless, demonstrations swept across the city after prayers. People left the mosques and filled the streets, chanting “Syria wants freedom” and “Bashar is an enemy of humanity”.
Witnesses said the security forces responded with violence, firing live rounds at some crowds. By last night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based group, estimated that up to ten people had been killed in Homs.
Abu Rami said the security forces were “going mad in Homs”, adding: “They are shooting everything, especially at people going outside from the mosques.”
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