Bashar Al Assad

August 20, 2011 by staff 

Bashar Al AssadBashar Al Assad, The tanks have entered the central Syrian city of Homs, according to activists, in a sign that President Bashar al-Assad is ready to quell ongoing protests with force despite the imminent arrival of a UN humanitarian mission.

Videos posted on Internet News Network Shaam showed armored personnel carriers driving through the streets of the city early Saturday, with automatic weapons audible in the background.

The show of force came a day after protests erupted again Friday in the country. The security forces trying to suppress the demonstrations mosques surrounded before midday prayers, killing at least 23 people with guns live mostly in the southern province of Dera, witnesses said.

A mission of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is expected to arrive on Saturday on the heels of another UN report on human rights recommended by the Security Council consider Assad government reference to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The security forces in al-Hirako, a city where violence occurred on Friday, refused to return the bodies of six protesters dead relatives, a witness told Al Jazeera.

“People are so angry here. They want to bury the bodies, but there are snipers everywhere in buildings and a curfew preventing anyone leaving their homes,” he said.

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a network of Syrian activists reported that security forces had surrounded the hospital Hirako to prevent the body is returned.

A heavy fire was used to frighten the residents to stay home, while pro-government Dunia TV filmed the empty streets in an apparent effort to show Hirako was silent.


Besides al-Hirako, the security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the cities of Ghabagheb, Inkhil Nawa and Friday, the Observatory UK-based Syrian Human Rights (SOHR) said.

The group said an 11-year-old and a 72-year-old had been killed, the activists say many of the injuries occurred when security forces attacked mosques in Inkhil.

The SOHR also said six people died in the central city of Homs, and two others died in the suburbs of Damascus and Harasta Douma.

The official SANA news agency attributed the shooting in the province of Dera “gunmen,” said a policeman and a civilian were killed in Ghabagheb and wounded six security forces.

The facility also reported a death in the ancient city of Palmyra, a major tourist destination in the east.

European sanctions

The violence occurred in the European Union decided to add 20 new names to a list of individuals and businesses Syrian and subject to sanctions.

“The proposals are being prepared for an embargo on imports of Syrian crude oil in the EU,” said Catherine Ashton, the head of foreign policy.

On Thursday, the U.S. and the EU for the first time explicitly Assad calls for his resignation.

U.S. Barack Obama President signed an executive order banning new U.S. investment Syria and all operations in the country’s oil sector.

Russia, meanwhile, were separated from the push Western diplomat in Syria, Assad saying he needed “more time” to implement reforms, according to the Interfax news agency.

Assad promise to give amnesty to political prisoners and the holding of general elections later this year there were indications that the Government intends to reform, a Foreign Ministry source told the agency.

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