Friday, May 06, 2011

22 Killed By Assad's Forces in Today's Death Toll In Syria

The Assad Regime is continuing its brutal crackdown on protesters, although it's barely being noticed in the media.

Fridays are usually the big demonstration days in the Muslim world as people emerge from the mosques.Mass protests broke out today in cities all across Syria, and they were harshly repressed by Assad's forces.

The bloodiest activity took place in the city of Homs where 15 protesters were killed. Syrian state television admitted that an army officer and four police were killed in Homs by a "criminal gang".

As I reported here, Assad's security forces stormed the city of Deraa last week and did a house to house 'cleansing', and there's no real information on how many were killed and arrested there.The overall death toll is said to be over 500 people (the equivalent population -wise to killing 8,000 Americans) and could be much higher, while an anonymous Western diplomat said that at least 7,000 people have been arrested. Remember, it was Basher Assad's father Hafez al-Assad who literally sacked the city of Homs in 1982 and killed an estimated 20,000 people.

Two of the opposition leaders are among the arrested - Riad Seif, who helped found Syria's nascent democracy movement and prominent Damascus imam Mouaz al-Khatib, another major leader in the uprising. They were literally dragged from their homes, and their whereabouts or even whether they're still alive is unknown.

Assad has largely prevented high profile protests by keeping foreign media largely out of the country and by blocking access to Damascus to prevent large groups of protesters from establishing a central location as happened in Egypt's Tahrir Square. But the protests continue to mount and expand.

Given the Arab bloc in the UN, that body is obviously not going to do anything meaningful about this. The EU has imposed selective asset asset freezes and travel restrictions against Syrian officials they consider responsible for the violence,but that notably does not include any members of the Assad family.

Apparently Libya's oil and the French and British need to preserve those lucrative oil contracts made Libya a very different story.

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