Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Some 35 more victims in Deraa, Assad send also troops to Douma
Nightly protest on Tuesday evening in Zabadani (a suburb of Damascus) in solidarity with Deraa. Other protest were hel din HGoms, Latakia, Banias, Gotta, Daraya and some 14 other places, humn rights activits Wissam Tarif reports.
Troops have been deployed overnight in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus.White buses brought in hundreds of soldiers in full combat gear, a witness told Reuters on Wednesday. Pro-democracy protesters have tried to march from the suburb into the centre of the capital in the last two weeks but have been dispersed by security forces.
More than 2,000 security police deployed in Douma on Tuesday, manning checkpoints and checking identity cards to arrest pro-democracy sympathisers, the witness, a former soldier, said. He said he saw several lorries in the streets equipped with heavy machine guns and members ofplainclothes secret police carrying assault rifles. He believed the soldiers to be Republican Guards, among the units most loyal to Bashar al-Assad, the president.
Syrian human rights organisation Sawasiah said security forces have killed up to 35 civilians since they entered the southern city of Deraa at dawn on Monday. Assad had sent the Fourth Mechanised Division, commanded by his brother Maher, into the city. Sawasiah said electricity,water and telecommunications was cut in Deraa and that tanks were firing at residential buildings, with supplies blood at hospitals starting to run low. Late on Tuesday, the state news agency SANA reported the army "continued to chase armed groups and extremists in Deraa who attacked military positions, cut off roads and forced passers-by to stop so they could hit them."
In the coastal city of Baniyas, thousands took to the streets on Tuesday, chanting "freedom, freedom," amid reports that the army had been deployed in the surrounding area.
Sawasiah said that since mid March at least 400 civilians have been killed by security forces.The UN secretary-general has called for an independent inquiry into the deaths of people he has described as peaceful demonstrators. But Syria's UN envoy Bashar Ja'afari said the country is perfectly capable of conducting its own transparent inquiry into the deaths. He told reporters that Assad had instructed the government "to establish a national commission of inquiry and investigation about all the casualties among civilians" and the envoy pledged "full transparency". International pressure on Assad is mounting, with European governments urging Syria to end the violence and the US saying it was studying more targeted sanctions against the country.