It’s Friday night in Syria. That means post-evening prayers street demonstrations are met with ferocious violence by security forces. From the LA Times:
“Directly after they came out of the mosques the security forces rushed toward the demonstrators and shot live ammunition at them,” said the resident, who would identify himself only by his first name of Abdullah. Security forces had burned bakeries in the town since beginning their offensive a week ago, forcing civilians to roam wide distances in search of bread, the resident said. He said three people had been killed in Friday’s violence in the town.
In Khan Sheikhon near the Turkish border, tanks and troops stormed the town at dawn, killing a pregnant woman, according to the Local Coordination Committees, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups. The group detailed other alleged deadly attacks on civilians Friday in the Damascus suburb of Saqba, where a man was reportedly shot and killed in a protest that followed dawn prayers, and in the cities of Aleppo, Hama, Homs and elsewhere.
In Aleppo, the second-largest city and a center of support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, protesters and security forces clashed. Video posted on the Internet showed young men running through a poor district as bursts of gunfire sounded.
Friday’s biggest protests appeared to have been in the Damascus suburbs and in the coastal city of Latakia, where thousands of protesters unfurled a huge Syrian flag.
In this video, uploaded a couple hours ago and tagged as depicting a protest in the city of Homs, you can hear gunfire ring out as protesters scramble for cover.
It would appear that the calls for restraint from Turkey earlier this week fell on deaf ears. Also, it is worth pointing out that three key swing votes from the Security Council: Brazil, India and South Africa, sent a delegation to Syria this week as well. Whatever entreaties they made to Bashar Assad were apparently ignored. He is clearly incapable or unwilling to exercise restraint.
The only path this will lead is to further isolation for the Syrian regime. He is basically about to get the Kaddafi treatment (minus the NATO intervention). Former friends, allies and trading partners are poised to dump him.