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April 21, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Unable to stem a growing popular uprising with promises of reform, ceaseless propaganda and restrictions on the news media, Syria's government still retains one powerful weapon: the solid support of a secretive web of security forces that so far show no signs of abandoning President Bashar Assad and his Baath Party. More protests broke out Thursday in Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, despite the interior minister's demand for civil disobedience to end. Activists are gearing up for another day of widespread protests Friday, when they hope to flood the center of Damascus, the capital, with demonstrators.
April 30, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Syria's loosely organized pro-democracy movement drew tens of thousands of people into the heart of Damascus and cities across the country Friday, a major victory against a government campaign of violence that has killed hundreds of peaceful protesters. Activists said security forces, who have deployed tanks in some cities, killed 64 people Friday as they tried to crush the 6-week-old protest movement. In Washington, the White House said President Obama had signed an executive order imposing sanctions on three Syrian officials the United States believes engaged in human rights abuses.
July 2, 1989 | BEATRICE HAMIZRACHI, Associated Press
U.S. and Israeli archeologists have unearthed a Roman metropolis that in its heyday was the ancient world's equivalent of New York. Founded in about AD 10 by Herod Philip, son of King Herod the Great, ancient Baniyas grew over the next several hundred years "into a huge city," archeologist Vassilios Tzarferis of the Israel Antiquities Department said recently. "We can estimate the population in Roman times of up to 15,000 people, which for those days means it was a New York," Tzarferis said.
May 13, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi and Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times
Protests erupted throughout Syria, including in the capital and the suburbs of the second-largest city, after weekly Muslim prayers on Friday, as a peaceful popular uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad and his family entered a second month. FOR THE RECORD: A photo of Pakistani protesters was used in an earlier version of this report and incorrectly identified demonstrators as Syrian protesters. Demonstrations erupted in and around the capital, Damascus, with reports of protests breaking out near a mosque in the city's Zahirah Jadidah district, less than two miles from the city center, and the Mezze district, activists said.
May 6, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Roula Hajjar, Los Angeles Times
Syrian authorities intensified a crackdown on opposition activists Thursday, arresting hundreds of people ahead of another planned day of demonstrations after weekly prayers, witnesses said. Soldiers stormed Damascus' Saqba suburb, entering homes and detaining residents, according to witnesses and antigovernment activists. In At Tall, another Damascus suburb, more than 800 people were arrested Thursday, witnesses said. "They pretended that they were following an organized list when they carried out the arrests, but in reality, it was just a random selection of young men that were detained," said an activist in the capital who asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation by authorities.
August 16, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi and Roula Hajjar, Los Angeles Times
Syrian security forces cracking down on opposition strongholds in Latakia herded thousands of people into a stadium and took away their identification cards and cellphones, activists said Monday. Forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad continued hammering opposition strongholds in the country's main port city, especially in the district of Ramleh, which has been pummeled with tank, gunboat and automatic weapons fire after unusually large antigovernment demonstrations broke out there Friday.
May 15, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
Hundreds of Syrians fled to Lebanon and three people were killed by snipers in the western border town of Tall Kalakh on Saturday, activists said, as President Bashar Assad claimed to have begun arranging talks with opposition figures in the face of protests that have shaken his regime. Activists released the names of the three men they said were killed Saturday, but the deaths could not be independently verified. Another person reportedly died after fleeing across the border, activists said.
March 19, 2011 | By Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times
Anti-government protesters took to the streets in Syria on Friday for the third time in a week despite the threat of beatings and arrest. In Damascus, protests erupted after noon prayers at the Umayyad Mosque in the old city. Dozens of protesters were met by police and plainclothes security officers, and several were beaten and arrested. In Dara, a city close to Syria's southern border with Jordan, witnesses said protesters smashed statues and set fires. A video on YouTube showed fire brigades using water cannons to disperse crowds.
April 29, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi and Meris Lutz, Los Angeles Times
Fresh protests erupted in Syrian cities and towns after weekly Muslim prayer sermons Friday despite dire warnings by security officials and violent suppression of protests by the armed forces. Amateur video posted to the Internet showed protests in the Lebanese border city of Homs, the third largest, the coastal city of Baniyas, Deir Azour in the country's east, the northwestern town of Kafr Zita and southern town of Jassem, near the embattled flashpoint city of Jassem. Activists also reported protests in the suburbs of Damascus and the coastal city of Lattakia, where there were reports of gunfire.
May 4, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, David S. Cloud and Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Huge explosions were reported in Damascus early Sunday, just two days after a reported Israeli airstrike in Syria targeting surface-to-air missiles possibly destined for neighboring Lebanon and the militant group Hezbollah. Syrian state media also blamed Israel for Sunday's predawn onslaught, saying that Israeli jet fighters had launched rockets on the capital. The site targeted was a military research facility in Jamraya, just outside Damascus, state media reported.
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