Local elections called


President Bashar al-Assad has called local elections for 12th December this year.

Currently there are continued protests taking place across the country with a serious breakdown of law and order in some areas and the security forces on the streets of cities and towns in every province.

In Jabal al-Zawiya there were clashes yesterday between government troops and army defectors, an increasing trend which threatens a decline into civil war and which led to four dead.

Government troops were active in Talbiseh, a town near Rastan in central Syria where government troops fought pitch battles with protesters last week.

Around 2,700 people are believed to have died in the protests so far and with such a backdrop it is difficult to see how local elections can be held.

Meanwhile, Russia and China have blocked efforts in the United Nations to put in place more sanctions against the Assad regime. Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that they would go ahead with sanctions anyway.

Two weeks ago Syria banned most imports in an attempt to protect its local industry, but that has now been reversed and the economic situation has deteriorated further despite support from Iran and China.

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