Posted by Joshua on Friday, March 18th, 2011
The three to five demonstrators killed in Deraa. This is a turning point – to what, one cannot say.
5 protesters killed in Syria, activist says; amateur video shows unrest around country
By BASSEM MROUE and ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press
Syrian security forces launched a harsh crackdown Friday on protesters calling for political freedoms, killing at least five people and marking the gravest unrest in years in one of the most repressive states in the Mideast, according to accounts from activists and social media……
On Friday, Syrian forces used water cannons, batons and gunfire to beat up protesters in Daraa. The violence began when a large group of people emerged from the Al-Omari mosque, marching and shouting slogans against corruption and calling for more political freedoms.
A human rights activist told The Associated Press that security forces cordoned the main hospital in Daraa where some of the wounded were being treated, preventing families from visiting the victims. He cited hospital workers, but spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals.
The government’s TV channel and news agency said “infiltrators” in Daraa caused “chaos and riots” and smashed cars and public and private property before they attacked riot police. It said a similar demonstration in the coastal town of Banyas dispersed without incident.
Amateur video footage posted on YouTube and Twitter showed large groups of protesters in several cities, but the authenticity of the footage could not be independently confirmed….
A YouTube video claiming to be shot in Banyas showed several thousand demonstrators gathering around an old stone building with a Syrian flag fluttering from its roof. A cluster of men stood on its balcony with a loudspeaker. Amid chants of “Freedom!” and “There is only one God!,” one man shouted out a list of protesters demands ranging from freedom of expression to allowing Muslim women with face veils to attend school.
Syrian forces kill three protesters in southern city
Reuters, Friday, March 18, 2011 3:16 PM EDT
Syrian security forces killed three protesters in the southern city of Deraa Friday, a resident said, in the most violent response to protests against Syria’s ruling elite since revolts swept through the Arab world.
A video aired on Facebook showed what it described as demonstrators in Deraa shouting slogans earlier in the day against Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad’s who owns several large businesses.
The demonstrators were taking part in a peaceful protest demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption in Syria, which has been ruled under emergency laws by President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath Party for nearly half a century.
Smaller protests took place in the central city of Homs and the coastal town of Banias, home to one of Syria’s two oil refineries, activists said. A crowd briefly chanted slogans for freedom inside the Umayyad Mosque in Old Damascus before security forces closed in on them.
Syrian authorities have stepped up arrests of dissidents since the Arab uprisings began in January, and have a history of crushing dissent. In 1982, Assad’s father sent troops to put down an rebellion in the city of Hama, killing thousands.
In Deraa Friday, several thousand people chanted “God, Syria, Freedom” and slogans accusing the president’s family of corruption, the resident said.
He said Hussam Abdel Wali Ayyash, Akram Jawabreh and Ayhem al-Hariri were shot dead by security forces who were reinforced with troops flown in by helicopters. Scores of demonstrators were wounded in the attack in the old quarter of Deraa near the border with Jordan.
After prolonged clashes during the day, the city appeared quieter at nightfall, with a heavy security presence, the resident, who declined to be named, told Reuters.
An official statement said “infiltrators” tried to take advantage of what it termed as a gathering in Deraa by burning cars and trying to cause chaos, which required intervention by security forces. The statement did not mention any casualties.
شل مزاد الأوراق المالية الثالث في سورية
ألغت وزارة المالية المزاد رقم 3/2011 الذي كان مقرراً أمس الأول.
وقال وزير المالية محمد الحسين في تصريح صحفي موضحاً سبب الإلغاء : قمنا بالإعلان عن مزاد على سند خزينة مدة عام بقيمة مليار ليرة سورية وبسعر فائدة تأشيري 1.5%، وألغي المزاد بعد الاطلاع على العروض المقدمة من قبل المصارف المشاركة بسبب ابتعاد عروض أسعار الفائدة بهامش كبير عن سعر الفائدة التأشيري الموضوع من قبلنا، حيث إن أسعار الفائدة هذه تمثل تكلفة على الخزينة العامة للدولة وبالتالي ديناً عاماً يضاف إلى أعباء الخزينة، ولذلك تسعى وزارة المالية لأن تكون هذه الفوائد بحدود مدروسة تتناسب مع قدرة الخزينة العامة للدولة على تحملها