Protests continue despite clampdown


Protests have continued this week across Syria despite the military clampdown.

In Baniyas, no sooner had the tanks withdrawn than the protesters were back out on the streets followed by more arrests. At least 26 people have died in the latest round of protests which seem to be gathering in new epicentres such as Maarat al-Numan.

If anything the protesters are becoming more determined as the military intervene. One slogan recorded by a journalist said ‘No dialogue with tanks and soldiers’. An activist, who had been arrested and tortured by having his fingernails removed, was back out on the streets and said that this was becoming personal.

In response the government news agency SANA has reported that ‘17 martyrs, including civilians, policemen and security forces members, were killed by gunfire from armed groups that exploited gatherings of citizens in Idleb and the outskirts of Homs on Friday and opened fire. Armed groups also attacked police departments in Ariha and Deir Ezzor in order to release imprisoned criminals.’

The United States has decided to impose more sanctions against the regime, with President Bashar al-Assad now included with six others in a travel ban and freezing of overseas assets. The European Union are considering adding further sanctions next week.

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