» 03/24/2011, 00.00
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.
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.
Fifth day of protests in Deraa as Syrian police kills again
Official sources blame “armed gangs” for an ambulance attack; demonstrators blame security forces, saying they carried out a sudden attack, opening fire on people gathered in front of a mosque. The opposition’s lack of leadership is a problem.
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.
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.
Syrian tanks move into Baniyas to quell protests
The population creates human cordons to stop the army. There are fears of a siege, killings and arrests. Yesterday at least 21 people were killed in Homs and Hama. The concerns of Christians.
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