ملخص أحداث الثورة السورية اليوم ٦٨: السبت، ٢١ أيار
Syrian Revolution News Round-up
Day 68: Saturday, 21 May 2011
ملخص أحداث الثورة السورية
اليوم ٦٨: السبت، ٢١ أيار/مايو ٢٠١١
Transitioning! The mass murder in Syria continues, as funerals produce more funerals, and the Assads persist in their devilish ways. Opposition calls for a conference to elect a transitional council.
11 protesters were killed when security forces opened fire on 50,000 mourners streaming out of a cemetery in Homs. Most merchants and shop owners in Homs observed a strike in protest of the killings on Friday May 20.
More than a 1,000 protester took part in an afternoon demonstration in the Damascene Suburb of Serghaya. Participants shouted slogans calling for toppling the regime and in support of the nearby communities of Madaya and Zabadani. Chants: “We don’t want Maher or Bashar, we only choose the revolution,” and “No to Assad, no to Makhlouf, after today there will be no more fear.”
Security officers also opened fire on protesters in Saqba calling for toppling the regime, leaving one confirmed fatality. Another demonstration took place in the Damascene neighborhood of Al-Qadam with protesters calling for toppling the regime.
Sources estimate the number of Syrian refugees that have crossed to Lebanon at 5,000.
Sources affiliated with different Syrian opposition groups announced today that a conference to elect a transitional council will take place in Turkey by month-end. The goal is to provide an alternative that can be endorsed by protesters and embraced by the international community in the hope of facilitating international agreement on the need for regime change in Syria.
Official death toll figures provided by human rights organizations fall miserably short of reflecting the actual reality on the ground. Bodies are often snatched and buried in mass graves and activists have a hard time communicating with people from besieged and hard-hit communities, making verification of actual figures difficult. Moreover, the missing and the seriously injured are in the thousands, the fate of the detainees cannot be ascertained, and the experiences of the last few weeks have taught us, especially with the discovery of mass graves in Deraa City, that matters are much worse than actually reported. We have to bear this in mind whenever we read reports of casualties.
Tidbits & Highlights from Friday, the 20th of May:
The general plan in the Idlib Governorate was to march from different communities to Idlib City in order to create a Tahrir Square scenario. The security forces got wind of that, which is why they ambushed the different marches and sent army tanks into Jisr Ashoughour in a successful attempt to prevent the convergence of the different demonstrations in Idlib City. Had protesters managed to successfully implement their plans, more than 250,000 people would have gathered in downtown Idlib creating a nightmarish situation for the authorities. It is the success of Assad security forces and militias in preventing such convergences, through the use of lethal force, that is preventing the protest movement from gathering even more momentum. Assads security chiefs must realize this of course, which is why the use of lethal force will never stop.
In Idlib, near the village of Al-Mastoumeh, security forces opened fire on protesters killing over 30, and wounding dozens. But angry protesters still marched into the town of Areeha and set fire to the local Baath Party headquarters and other official buildings. Meanwhile, army troops and tanks rolled into the town of Jisr Ashoughour, and opened fire against unarmed protesters, killing many.
The city of Salamiyyeh with its mixed populations, including Sunnis, Alawites and Ismailis, witnessed massive demonstrations calling for toppling the regime. Here, and in an attempt to cause communal rifts, security forces bussed in residents from nearby Alawite villages and had them stage pro-Assad demonstrations which ended up clashing with protesters. No word on casualties yet.
Security forces raided the headquarters of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, a Qamishly-based Christian organization that has been part of the Syrian opposition movement for over a decade and who took part in organizing the protests in Qamishly, confiscating all files and electronic equipment. Security forces also arrested dozens of Assyrian residents, including: Dr. Malak Jacob, Dr. Samir Abraham, Karam Dawle, Gabriel Romanos, Barsom Joseph, Ghandi Safar, Jacob Gharib.