Posts Tagged ‘ 2011 Protests in Syria ’

Armed residents put up resistance to Syrian Army

By BASSEM MROUE | AP
May 31, 2011

BEIRUT: Syrian troops shelled a town in the center of the country Monday, and for the first time in the two-month-old revolt against the president, residents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades put up fierce resistance, activists said. State media said four soldiers were killed.

Most of the opposition to autocratic President Bashar Assad has taken the form of peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators, though authorities have claimed throughout the uprising that it was being led by armed gangs and propelled by foreign conspiracies.

Two activists in the area said residents of two towns under attack in central Homs province since Sunday had taken up arms against troops and members of the security forces and that there were new casualties, though they did not know how many.

The Local Coordination Committees in Syria, which help organize and document the protests, said two bodies were found Monday morning in the area of Bab Amro cemetery, raising the death toll from the two-day crackdown in the country’s turbulent heartland to 11.

“The army is facing armed resistance and is not able to enter the two towns,” said a Homs resident who has wide connections in the province. “The army is still outside the towns and I was told that army vehicles, including armored personnel carriers, were burnt.” The other activist said the army “is being subjected to stiff resistance” by residents using automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades in the two towns, Tabliseh and Rastan. He said many people are armed in Syria and over the past years weapons have been smuggled into the country from Lebanon and Iraq.

Syria has barred foreign journalists from entering the country and prevented coverage of the revolt, making it nearly impossible to independently verify accounts coming out of the country.

Monday’s accounts by the two activists, however, were the first credible reports of serious resistance by people who have taken up arms. It is not clear how widespread such resistance might be elsewhere in the country, but the government has claimed that more than 150 soldiers and policemen have been killed since the unrest began.

The Local Coordination Committees in Syria said military forces hit Tabliseh with artillery early Monday and that snipers were deployed on roofs of mosques.

Syrian troops, backed by tanks, have been conducting operations in Tabliseh and the nearby town of Rastan Teir Maaleh since Sunday.

Syria’s state-run news agency said four soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in Tabliseh.

Assad’s use of the military signals he is determined to crush the two-month-old revolt, despite US and European sanctions, including an EU assets freeze and a visa ban on Assad and nine members of his regime.

The uprising, which began in mid-March, is posing the most serious challenge to the Assad family’s 40-year rule. What began as a disparate movement demanding reforms has erupted into a resilient uprising seeking Assad’s ouster. Human rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been killed in the crackdown.

In Geneva, the UN’s top human rights official said Monday the brutality and magnitude of repression in Syria and Libya against anti-government groups is “shocking.” Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the crackdown in those countries is marked by an “outright disregard for basic human rights.” He urged the Syrian government Monday to allow a UN fact-finding mission to visit the country. The team has been awaiting Syria’s reply since requesting a visit on May 6.

Rights activist Mustafa Osso said troops have entered several towns in the restive Homs province and detained hundreds of people since Sunday. He added that since Sunday night, Rastan and Tabliseh have been subjected to heavy machine gun fire.

Residents of the Homs towns have held anti-regime protests since the start of the uprising. Those protests have increased recently, with crowds taking to the streets day and night to call for the fall of Assad’s regime, an activist said.

Osso said there were several demonstrations in different parts of Syria overnight, adding that there were no reports of security forces opening fire.

In recent days, many Assad opponents have been holding protests and candlelight vigils at times of the night when the security presence has thinned out.

Source: Arab News.
Link: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article442250.ece.

Armed residents put up resistance to Syrian army

By BASSEM MROUE – Associated Press, ZEINA KARAM – Associated Press
Mon, May 30, 2011

BEIRUT (AP) — Residents used automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades to repel advancing government troops in central Syria on Monday, putting up a fierce fight for the first time in their two-month-old revolt against President Bashar Assad’s autocratic regime.

The escalation raised fears the popular uprising may be moving toward a Libya-style armed conflict.

Until now, the opposition against Assad has taken the form of peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators, though authorities have claimed, without offering solid proof, that it was being led by armed gangs and propelled by foreign conspiracies.

Activists said residents of the towns of Talbiseh and Rastan, which have been under attack since Sunday in central Homs province, decided to fight back with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, and at least four civilians were killed.

“They felt that they cannot sit back any more and pray for God to help them,” said one Homs resident who has wide connections in the province. He, like all residents contacted by The Associated Press, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Another two bodies were found early Monday in the area of Bab Amro cemetery, raising the death toll from the two-day crackdown in the country’s turbulent heartland to 15, said the Local Coordination Committees in Syria, which helps organize and document the protests. State media said four soldiers were killed.

“The army is facing armed resistance and is not able to enter the two towns,” the Homs resident said. “The army is still outside the towns and I was told that army vehicles, including armored personnel carriers, were set on fire.”

A second activist confirmed residents had fought back, but said it involved individual residents protecting themselves, as opposed to an organized armed resistance with an overall command structure.

“The protests began peacefully but the practices of security forces that humiliated the people eventually led to the use of arms,” he said. He said it was common for Syrians to have light weapons such as rifles in their homes, adding that in recent years weapons have been smuggled in from neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Iraq.

Homs has seen some of the biggest demonstrations against Assad since protests broke out in southern Syria in March and spread across the country — posing the most serious challenge to the Assad regime’s 40-year rule.

What began as a disparate movement demanding reforms has erupted into a resilient uprising seeking Assad’s ouster. Human rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been killed in the crackdown, which has drawn condemnation and sanctions from the United States and European Union.

Monday’s accounts were the first credible reports of serious resistance by residents taking up arms. It is not clear how widespread such resistance might be elsewhere, though there have been some reports of civilians fighting back in the town of Talkalakh near the border with Lebanon and the government and several rights group say more than 150 soldiers and policemen have been killed since the unrest began.

Details coming out of Syria are sketchy because the government has placed severe restrictions on the media and expelled foreign reporters, making it nearly impossible to independently verify accounts coming out of the country.

The Local Coordination Committees in Syria said Assad’s fighters hit Tabliseh with artillery early Monday and that snipers were deployed on the roofs of mosques. Syrian troops, backed by tanks, have been conducting operations in Tabliseh, Rastan and the nearby town of Teir Maaleh since Sunday.

“The situation is completely hopeless,” said a resident of Rastan reached by telephone who said he was barricaded in his home.

“There are dead bodies in the streets and nobody can get to them … The town is completely surrounded by tanks,” he shouted before the line was cut.

Rights activist Mustafa Osso said troops have detained hundreds of people since Sunday in Homs province.

Syria’s state-run news agency said four soldiers were killed and 14 wounded in Tabliseh.

Assad’s use of the military signals he is determined to crush the revolt, despite U.S. and European sanctions, including an EU assets freeze and a visa ban on Assad and nine members of his regime.

In Geneva, the U.N.’s top human rights official said Monday the brutality and magnitude of repression in Syria and Libya against anti-government protests is “shocking.”

Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the crackdown in the two countries was marked by an “outright disregard for basic human rights.”

He urged the Syrian government Monday to allow a U.N. fact-finding mission to visit the country. The team has been awaiting Syria’s reply since requesting a visit on May 6.

Rights activist Mustafa Osso said troops have detained hundreds of people since Sunday in Homs province.

As toll mounts, Syrians opt for nighttime protests

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 27, 2011

BEIRUT: Syrian security forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrations Friday, killing at least eight people as thousands took to the streets, human rights activists and witnesses said.

The casualties included three people in Qatana, a suburb of the capital, and four in the southern village of Dael, according to local coordination committees in Syria, which helped organize the protests. One person was also reported killed near the border with Lebanon.

The 10-week protests have evolved from a disparate movement demanding reforms to a resilient uprising that is now seeking President Bashar Assad’s ouster. On Friday, protests erupted in the capital, Damascus, and the coastal city of Banias, the central city of Homs and elsewhere.

Human rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been killed since the revolt began in mid-March.

Many activists have been opting for nighttime demonstrations and candlelight vigils in recent days, aiming for a time when the security presence has thinned out. “We refuse to let them sleep,” a 28-year-old Dael resident said of the security forces. “We drive them crazy, as soon as they come to the neighborhood we go quiet and they get lost. And then we start again when they leave,” he told The Associated Press.

Source: Arab News.
Link: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article434912.ece.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Protest at Syrian-Jordanian border warns of foreign intervention

Tuesday, 24 May

AMMONNEWS – Jordanian authorities and security forces on Friday prevented hundreds of protestors in Ramtha, northern Jordan, from reaching the Syrian-Jordanian border during a protest against the Syrian regime’s crackdown on Syrian pro-reformers.

Hundreds of activists and members of the banned “Hizb ut-Tahrir” movement marched following Friday noon prayers from Al Taqwa Mosque in the border town in a solidarity stand with the Syrian people.

Hizb ut-Tahrir protestors chanted slogans criticizing “Arab silence” towards the bloody events in Syria, and called on the Arab League to take action to protect the Syrian people.

The protestors were stopped from marching towards the Syrian-Jordanian border and staged a sit-in near the state-run Ramtha hospital.

Several speakers blasted the military crackdown on Syrian activists whose demands have escalated to call for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad following bloody clashes in several Syrian cities.

Protestors warned against foreign intervention in the Syrian political scene, and blasted US President Obama’s speech on Thursday and US administration’s position towards events in the region.

They urged Arab intervention in resolving “Arab-Arab” issues, and warned against continued “Western intervention” in the region.

Banan Malkawi
24th May 2011

Source: Ammon News

Source: Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia.
Link: http://www.hizb-australia.org/newsroom/hizb-ut-tahrir/3683-hizb-ut-tahrir-protest-at-syrian-jordanian-border-warns-of-foreign-intervention.

Demonstration in Jordan in support of Syria’s anti-Assad protests

May 21, 2011

Amman – Hundreds of Syrians living in Jordan staged a demonstration outside the United Nations office in Amman on Saturday, in support of protesters in Syria calling for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.

They crowd held up placards and chanted slogans against al-Assad, calling for and end to his leadership and security crackdown on protests in Syria.

Meanwhile, Jordanian media reported that the government had asked the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood movement, whose leaders have been given refuge in the country, to stop protests outside the Syrian embassy in Amman.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who ended a visit to the United States earlier this week, has reportedly asked US President Barack Obama to give al-Assad ‘a chance’ to implement the reforms that protesters are demanding.

Authorities on Friday prevented hundreds of Jordanians from demonstrating near Ramtha and in support of protesters across the border in the Syrian city of Daraa.

Source: Monsters and Critics.
Link: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1640590.php/Demonstration-in-Jordan-in-support-of-Syria-s-anti-Assad-protests.