May 22, 2019

Assad continues crackdown on Syria protesters

There is only room for one ruler in Syria, and that ruler is me.

President Bashar al-Assad’s hardline crackdown on unrest in Syria shows no sign of letting up. Syrian security forces have surrounded the coastal city of Baniyas, following the violent storming of Deraa in the south two days ago.

Soldiers have blocked the northern and southern entrances to Baniyas, and government supporters in nearby villages have been armed, according to activists.

Reports from Deraa say hundreds of men between the ages of 16 and 40 were taken away by security forces in house-to-house raids on Sunday.

Ammar Qurabi the head of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria says his group has documented around 1,000 names of people who were detained across Syrian provinces in door-to-door raids since Saturday.

The International Red Cross has appealed for access to the injured and arrested, especially in Deraa.

But a Deraa resident said “The army is occupying the hospital. They are arresting everyone there – the injured, the wounded.”

It is hard to get an accurate figure on the death toll sonce the government clampdown started, but it is certainly above 500.

The Syrian interior ministry has set a deadline of 15th May for protestors who had committed “unlawful acts” to give themselves up.

The unrest is not only confined to certain cities though. Last week hundreds of members of Mr Assad’s ruling Baath Party resigned in protest at the crackdown.