Monday, July 18, 2011

Developments in cities across Syria over the last 72 hours.

50 protestors that were arrested were released.

30 people were killed. Violence erupted after the discovery of 3 mutilated bodies of regime supporters.

At least 28 people were killed. Mass protests have hit the capital for the first time, which is a direct challenge to President Assad’s regime.

Qutana (suburb of Damascus):
Ali Abdullah, a leading opposition member, was arrested after a raid on his home. He is a writer and member of the Damascus Declaration group.

Al-Boukamel (near border with Iraq):
100 soldiers defected and joined the protestors.

Other recent developments:

• The US embassy in Damascus, and the residence of Ambassador Robert Ford was attacked after the Ambassador’s visit to Hama.
• President Obama stated that President Assad has lost legitimacy, and America has no interest in seeing him hold on to power.
• Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated that President Assad was not indispensible.
• The Union of Free Syrian Hackers hacked into the website of the Syrian postal services. The group posted threatening message to President Assad, claiming that he would be toppled soon.
• Opposition groups met in Istanbul for the National Salvation Conference. Both secular and Islamic groups were present. However Kurdish representatives left the meeting promptly when the ethnic rights of Kurds were not recognised. The opposition had planned to hold a dual meeting in Damascus but the location was besieged by security forces. The meeting drew up a joint draft declaration setting out the role of the opposition in a future Syria.
• Hilary Clinton visited Istanbul and gave a press conference with her counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu. She stated that the brutality in Syria must stop, and government reforms must be enacted.

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