Hundreds Reported Wounded as Protests Sweep Nation
The protest movement in Syria delivered on a promised record turnout on Friday, with massive rallies reported in virtually every city nationwide. The regime’s security forces were also out in force, however, shooting massive numbers of demonstrators.
A very preliminary count has at least 88 protesters killed and several hundred others wounded. The toll is almost certain to rise in what has been dubbed by opposition members the “Good Friday Massacre.”
Syria’s state media was largely mum on the protests, but accused “armed groups” (the regime’s chosen term for demonstrators) of injuring firemen in an attack in Damascus. Interestingly for an “armed” group, the attackers were said to have thrown stones at the firemen. They also accused al-Jazeera of “distorting facts” in covering the protests, saying it amounted to “incitement.”
The protesters were by far the most widespread Syria has seen, and the death toll was likewise much larger than in previous days. Each Friday has seen a larger rally than the last, with a tiny demonstration along the Jordan border five weeks ago swelling to a massive rebellion calling for regime change.
Leaders of the protest movement issued a statement today demanding the abolition of the Ba’ath Party’s system of single party rule in favor of full democracy. They also demanded that political prisoners be released and the existing security state replaced.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Results of US MOAB Strike in Afghanistan Remain Unknown - April 23rd, 2017
- Taliban Attack on North Afghanistan Army Base Kills At Least 163 - April 23rd, 2017
- Mattis: US to Increase Support for Saudis in Yemen - April 23rd, 2017
- Israel Attacks Syrian Army Base, Killing Three - April 23rd, 2017
- Al-Qaeda Leader: Syrian Jihadists Should Wage 'Patient' Guerilla War - April 23rd, 2017