» 05/04/2011, 00.00
Cities under siege as more than a thousand arrests are made in two days
Human rights organisations slam arbitrary arrests and interrogations in Deraa, including in hospitals. Military and pro-regime militias surround the city of Baniyas to prevent a possible uprising. Turkish prime minister condemns the repression, remembers 1982 Hama massacre of 20,000 people.
Protests continue in Deraa as the number of dead and wounded mounts
Security forces carry out two attacks, demonstrators say. The authorities blame “armed gangs” and a “one million SMS” sent especially from Israel, pointing the finger at the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, Assad sacks a governor and releases women arrested for demanding the liberation of political prisoners.
University students protests in Damascus as military lay siege to Baniyas
Police is unleashed against student protesters, killing one and arresting scores. This is the new element in the Syrian crisis. Many die in the coastal town, and a new appeal for street protest is issued on Facebook.
04/08/2011 UN - SYRIA
UN condemns Damascus, while Hama siege drags on
The Security Council condemns human rights violations and use of force, but excludes any foreign intervention. Violence of the demonstrators also condemned. Tanks enter the centre of Hama and surround Deir Ezzor. Forces open fire on the fleeing crowd. Protests every night throughout Ramadan. Tens of thousands demonstrate in Deir al-Zour, Duma, Homs.
Only promises and tanks from Assad
Despite earlier announcements, the Syrian president only promises reforms but says nothing about expected steps to end 48 years of emergency rule and the one-party state. Deraa is surrounded by the army. According to some sources, a huge crowd has gathered for the funerals of demonstrators killed during clashes.
United States imposes sanctions on Assad and his government
Assad is seen as incapable of handling the situation, which is becoming more explosive by the day. Witnesses describe widespread clashes between the military and civilians, with scenes of civil war. Rights watchdogs speak of more than 850 people killed and thousands of arrests.
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