Syrian Tanks Attack as 19 Protesters Killed

Many Killed by Unidentified Snipers in Southern Villages

At least 19 people were killed today across Syria, as the nation’s military took the offensive in the city of Homs and unidenified snipers killed large numbers of people in villages near the key border city of Daraa.

The deaths in Homs came when protesters in the Bab Amro district, a mostly residential area, came under fire from army tank shells. Homs has been the latest major site for crackdowns, after Daraa and the port city of Baniyas.

13 people were killed in the village of Haraa, near Daraa, along the Jordanian border. Reports have them slain by sniper fire. It was unclear who the snipers were, but they were clearly targeting demonstrators.

The killings made Wednesday one of the highest single-day death tolls in the several weeks of protesters, apart from the usual massive rallies and crackdowns which come every Friday after religious services. They suggest Syria is transitioning from a once-a-week rally culture to a constant presence for those demanding reforms.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.