July 31, 2011 |
Syrian security forces loyal to the embattled regime of President Bashar Assad launched a major military assault on opposition strongholds Sunday, using tanks and gunfire in authorities' latest attempt to crush a pro-democracy movement that appears to be gathering momentum ahead of the emotionally and religiously charged holy month of Ramadan. According to sketchy accounts by activists and residents reached by telephone, Syrian security forces violently attacked several of the country's opposition hotspots, including the southern city of Dara and the far eastern city of Dair Alzour, with the most intense attacks centered on Hama, the country's fourth largest city as well as the site of a 1982 massacre by Assad's father.
July 15, 2011 |
Massive anti-government protests throughout Syria on Friday were met with violence by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, in defiance of increased Western pressure on the regime to radically reform. At least 12 people were reported killed by mid-afternoon, with human rights activists warning that the number of dead was sure to rise, despite a purported "dialogue" between Assad's deputies and some regime critics that finished just days ago. The protests followed a tense week between Syria and the West after provocative visits by U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford and French envoy Eric Chavallier to the restive city of Hama, which enraged Syrian authorities and prompted a series of increasingly testy exchanges between Western and Syrian officials.
July 7, 2011 |
A trio of major human-rights groups on Wednesday sounded separate alarms about the violent crackdown against the pro-democracy movement in Syria, accusing the regime of war crimes and urging the international community to haul the leadership in Damascus before a tribunal. More than 1,400 Syrians have been killed in the nearly 4-month-old uprising, which seeks to bring democracy to a nation that has been run by the family of President Bashar Assad or its political allies since 1963.
June 27, 2011 |
Sensing the revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak is slipping from their grasp, activists and opposition groups are pressuring the ruling military council to postpone Egypt's elections in September amid fears that Islamists and members of the former regime will gain too much power. The attempt by fledgling political parties to win more time to organize coincides with a renewed push to draft a new constitution before the parliamentary elections so that no political bloc, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, will have unchecked influence to set the laws of the land.
June 22, 2011 |
Pro-democracy protesters said they continued to be attacked in cities across Syria on Tuesday, a day after President Bashar Assad promised political reforms in a rare public speech. The protesters said the clashes were started by pro-Assad demonstrators, in some cases accompanied by government security forces, in at least seven cities, including Hama, Homs and Latakia. In Homs, three people were killed in fighting, according to residents cited by Reuters. Amateur video, said by activists to have been shot in Homs, appeared to show residents coming under gunfire.
June 14, 2011 |
They were once ordinary Syrians: farmers with fields to tend, doctors with patients to treat, students with exams to take and homemakers with children to nurture. But after longtime Syrian President Bashar Assad's security forces stormed their towns and villages in an attempt to crush a largely peaceful pro-democracy movement, they represent the emerging human toll, a small segment of the many thousands of Syrian civilians who have fled into the hills or across the border into Turkey to escape the violence.
June 11, 2011 |
Government-sponsored demonstrators, some armed with clubs, attacked pro-democracy protesters Friday in Tahrir Square and paraded pictures of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's chief rival, Iyad Allawi, with a red X slashed across his face. Groups of rowdy young men, some said by Western sources to have been bused in by Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party, roamed the streets armed with sticks and other weapons. At least four men were badly beaten and several women were assaulted, said pro-democracy activists who have held weekly rallies at the downtown square since February, inspired by the populist movements that first swept Tunisia and Egypt.
June 3, 2011 |
Families of four young pro-democracy protesters jailed in Baghdad said Thursday that their loved ones continued to be denied access to lawyers or relatives despite repeated requests. The four men, who had played a major role in recent weekly demonstrations for better governance, were detained last Friday as they gathered for their regular protest in central Baghdad's Tahrir Square. Three of the men were shoved at gunpoint into the back of an ambulance, a witness said. Authorities did not acknowledge the detentions for several days.
June 2, 2011 |
The unrest shaking Yemen began months ago as part of the idealistic movement for democracy and political reform sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. It is now a battle of money, power and egos within a single powerful clan that threatens to tear the country apart. The elite Republican Guard and special forces commanded by the son of President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been fighting for more a week with those who support the head of the president's own tribe, Sheik Sadiq Ahmar, and his businessman brother Hamid.