Syria crisis

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Live updates of Syrian crisis as it enters its 11th month with no clear signs to an end. World powers debate over the next move, while fighting on the ground intensifies. Which road will Syria take? The perilous path to civil war, or a negotiated solution that halts the bloodshed?

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  • Anti-regime protests

    Syria crisis


    More videos of anti-regime protests in Syria. Friday protests have become ritual in the country since the uprising began, usually beginning after prayers finish at roughly 1-2pm.

    Damascus suburbs – Barza neighborhood

    Intriguing sign at this protest, appearing to pledge support for the Qatari prime minister, while admonishing the Sudanese head of the Arab observer mission.

    There is also a Palestinian flag being waved, interestingly. Arab nationalism and the Palestine factor have been a bone of contention between regime loyalists and opposition supporters, with loyalists accusing the opposition of forsaking Palestine and adhering to Western interests in a bid to topple the regime.

    Sign translated: “Thanks, appreciation, gratitude and respect to the honest ones like Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, the observer Anwar Malik, the free media and all who support this revolution”

    Another sign: “For rent: a Sudanese beast, available for false testimonies in all Syrian courts. For those interested, contact the Assad regime.” (referring to Mustafa al-Dabi, Sudanese general who headed the Arab observer mission)


    Chants: “The people want divine protection”

    Signs: [in English] “The Syrian people are being slaughtered, where is the world?”

    [in Arabic] “the people want to overthrow the regime and all its symbols”

    Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 14:54

  • Anti-regime protests


    Syria crisis


    Anti-regime protests today were themed "We're Sorry Hama, Forgive Us," in commemoration of the Hama massacre in 1982 in which between 10,000 to 40,000 people were killed in a crackdown on an Islamist insurgency.

    We're collected videos from several protests currently taking place around Syria, none of which can be independently verified.

    Maarat al-Numan (northwest Syria)

    Large numbers protesting against the regime, marking the anniversary of the Hama massacre.

    Chants: "Forgive us Hama"

    Damascus suburbs – Al-Kadem neighborhood

    Dozens seen in this video chanting for the fall of the regime. The signs visible on the screen read:

    “We call on the international community to intervene and stop the massacre in Wadi Bardi”

    “Free Syria Army will soon be in the capital Damascus”

    “al-Kadem won't rest until the execution (of Bashar)”

    Damascus suburbs – Al-Asali neighborhood

    Tens chanting: "The people demand the execution of Bashar – the people want to topple the regime – the people support the Free Syrian Army."

    Signs read:

    "We will not let the blood of out martyrs go to waste; we will not allow the screams of our women and children go to waste."

    "The widows and orphans call on the people to join the noble ranks of the Free Syrian Army."


    Dozens chanting: “In our spirit, in our blood, we pledge allegiance to Hama”


    Chants: “We are the spies, the saboteurs”

    Sign reads: “Our sun will shine”


    Predominantly Kurdish town in northeast Syria near the Turkish border. Kurdish opposition supporters seen here waving the flag of Kurdistan.


    A large crowd seen in this YouTube clip, chanting: “In our spirit, in our blood, we pledge allegiance to our martyrs"

    Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 14:12

  • Violence updates

    Syria crisis


    One Syrian regular soldier was killed and five others wounded in clashes between the army and rebels this morning in the town of Jassim, in the southern Daraa province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The Observatory also reported the death of two children in the town of Kfartakhim in the northwestern Idlib province. The children were killed when a roadside bomb detonated near a cultural center, creating a tense atmosphere among residents, the UK-based rights group said.

    It is unclear who planted the roadside bomb, but it has been a method previously used by armed groups.

    Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 12:57

  • Revised draft to avoid Russian veto

    Syria crisis


    Diplomatic wrangling still ongoing at UNSC. Morocco submitted a slightly revised draft of the resolution to the UNSC on Thursday night, but it is uncertain whether it'll be enough to avoid a Russian veto. The late night scrambling came after Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said he would veto the resolution as it was if put to a vote on Friday.

    Russia hasn't responded yet to the latest changes, which still includes a contentious phrase that calls for President Bashar Assad to resign. Morocco's UN envoy said he wanted a vote as soon as possible, suggesting that the West are keen to get the Russians either on board or to abstain.

    If the West win Russian guarantees today, we might see a UNSC resolution by the end of the day.

    Published: Friday, February 3, 2012 - 12:50

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