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April 17, 2011

Syrian protests met with crackdown

Syrian protests met with crackdown – Wikinews, the free news source

Syrian protests met with crackdown

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

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President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
Image: Ricardo Stuckert/ABr.

Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets Friday in cities across the country protesting for freedom. Syria’s official news agency (SANA) reported, “scattered groups of citizens came out to the streets in several areas of the provinces after Friday prayers and chanted slogans calling for freedom without the intervention of security forces.” However, protests in Damascus reportedly turned violent as security forces were said to disperse the crowds with batons and tear gas to prevent protesters reaching the capital’s main square.

“I counted 15 mukhabarat [secret police] busloads,” a source reported to Reuters news agency. “They went into the alleyways just north of the square chasing protesters and yelling ‘you pimps, you infiltrators, you want freedom? we will give it to you’.”

Protests in Syria have intensified since mid-March after families of political prisoners held rallies in Damascus and people in Daraa protested against the arrests of more than a dozen children for anti-regime graffiti. The protests continued as Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad failed to lift the emergency law the country has operated under since his Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party came to power in 1963. The Assad government has met protests with a mixture of minor concessions and force.

After a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The Syrian government did not meet the legitimate demands of the Syrian people. It is time for the Syrian government to stop its crack down on these people and begin to meet their aspirations.” Assad met with a delegation from Dara’a yesterday. The delegation asked for a deadline for their demands to be met. Al Jazeera correspondent Rula Amin said, “It seems from the people in Daraa that the government is seriously trying to contain [the situation in] Daraa because that is where it all started. If they manage to calm the situation in Daraa, the government believes it will be able to contain the situation throughout Syria.”



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September 12, 2006

Attack on U.S. embassy in Syria halted in progress

Attack on U.S. embassy in Syria halted in progress

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Guards in charge of security at the United States Embassy in Damascus, Syria have stopped a “terrorist operation” just outside the embassy’s walls, according to a statement by the Syrian government. Several other areas near other embassies located in Rawda, Syria have also been shut down in order to secure the surrounding areas.

Reports say that four gunmen exited two vehicles, parking them just outside the embassy and began shooting at guards inside the embassy and throwing grenades at them. The guards then began firing upon the gunmen killing three and wounding one taking him into custody. At least two of the terrorists were attempting to hide in buildings near the embassy, but security officers killed them after catching up to them.

During the exchange of gunfire, one of the vehicles used by the terrorists exploded and according to the Syrian Government, was detonated by the terrorists. The second vehicles also exploded, but reports say the vehicle was in the control of the Syrian security force before it too blew up.

“Three terrorists were killed and one was wounded. [The attack was a] terrorist operation targeting the US embassy,” said Gen. Bassam Abdel Majid of Syria’s Interior Ministry.

None of the gunmen were able to enter the embassy and there is no claim of responsibility as of yet.

Reports also state that at least one Syrian Security officer and two Iraqis were killed and at least seven technicians located at a nearby workshop were injured including a local police officer. One diplomat from China was also injured when he was hit by debris from the blast while standing on the roof of a garage located at the Chinese Embassy. No Americans were killed or injured during the battle.

An anonymous senior official of Syria’s Baath party stated the attacks were planned by government intelligence from within the United States.

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