Syria, day of unrest – Friday 30 December – Lesson of defiance for Eritreans
This picture posted on YouTube appears to show a Syrian soldier taking aim at a young boy during a protest in Deraa, Syria. Photograph: YouTube/MrAA991 Reuters are also reporting on the violent clashes that have erupted
This picture posted on YouTube appears to show a Syrian soldier taking aim at a young boy during a protest in Deraa, Syria. Photograph: YouTube/MrAA991
Reuters are also reporting on the violent clashes that have erupted across Syria as hundreds of thousands take to the streets in protest against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The London based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that 10 activsts have been killed today, lower than the LCC’s count of 17.
Reuters also reports that rocks have been thrown at security forces in the Damascus suburb of Douma. In response troops have tear-gassed chanting crowds.
Speaking about the situation in Hama an Observatory spokesperson said, “Five were martyred today and at least 20 wounded when the Syrian security forces opened fire,”
A further five people are also reported dead in the city of Deraa, 25 wounded in Idlib and at least two dozen injured in the Damascus suburb of Douma.
Speaking to Reuters activist Abu Hisham from Hama said, “This Friday is different from any other Friday. It is a transformative step. People are eager to reach the monitors and tell them about their suffering.”
In the Damascus suburb of Barzeh protesters held up signs saying, “The Monitors are witnesses who don’t see anything,” and shouted, “Bashar we don’t want you, Syrians raise your hands.”
The facebook page of the Local Coordination Committee group in Syria, which helps bring together protests in the country is reporting a number of clashes and incidents where protestors are being shot at and in some instances killed by Syrian security forces in Hama, Idlib, Damascus, and Talkalahk in the province of Homs. The LCC’s latest death toll is 17.
1.26pm:To add flavour to Martin Chulov’s analysis of today’s mass demonstrations in Syria, this video below appears to show a thousands strong demo from Hama earlier today.
Our correspondent Martin Chulov across the border in Beirut, Lebanon has this to say about today’s Syrian demonstrations.
Syrian activists promised that today would be a highly visible show of defiance. And they’ve delivered. Today’s protests are significant, not because of the overall numbers, which will become more apparent later in the day, but because of the range of locations in which they’re taking place.
The pre-Assad regime flag adopted by the demonstrators is being waved in demonstrations in many areas of Damascus, including Midan, Douma and al-Qadam, despite attempts by security forces to stop all gatherings. There are large protest in the second city, Aleppo, as well as Idlib, Latakia, and the city that continues to fight back, Homs. A rally has also kicked off across the border in a neighbourhood of the north Lebanon city of Tripoli.
The protesters may not have confidence in the Arab League mission’s means to bring about change on Syria. But the mission is clearly emboldening – and energising – a restive populace. Demonstrators are gambling – correctly – that the regime’s gunmen won’t mow them down with the monitors watching on.