Sunday, April 24, 2011

Syrian Forces Shoot Mourners In Saturday Carnage

At least 13 mourners were shot dead on Saturday as Syrians swarmed the streets in funeral processions to bury scores of demonstrators killed in Friday's protests.

The death toll from Friday is estimated at about 100 people.

Two men in the funeral cortege in the town of Ezreh, Yasser Nseirat and Jamal Qanbar were reportedly shot down by snipers, and as many as five mourners may have been killed there.

Others were shot outside a hospital in Daraa,in Damascus and surrounding areas and near the southern town of Izra’a.

A Homs resident who only gave his name as Mohammed told the BBC that people were afraid to leave their homes to attend funerals because they were afraid of being shot.

"Today Homs is empty, there is nobody outside," he said. "They arrest anybody they find outside and they are now once again starting to shoot and kill anyone who goes outside. Homs is a ghost city.

He also said the regime had put a cordon around Homs and were blocking food supplies to the city in what amounts to a siege.

There is a limit to how far Basher Assad is going to be able to take this, and one sign that he may be close to the limit was the resignation of two members of Assad's 'parliament', Naser Hariri and Khalil al-Rifaei resigned today on disgust at the bloodshed. So did Rezq Abdulrahman Abazeid, the government-appointed mufti for Deraa.

If these members of Syria's elite are taking the risk of jumping off Assad's ship, it's serious.

For Assad to retain power, he's going to have to perform atrocities that may end up making it impossible for his regime to survive anyway.

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