At least 22 killed(31 according to Reuters) in Syria’s siege on its port city of Latakia by security forces. The government operation comes after protesters massed in Latakia and other cities on Friday and renewed calls for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. The United Nations Security Council plans to meet Thursday to consider further action against the Syrian government.


VOA News August 14, 2011

Syrian security forces have stepped up their deadly crackdown on dissent in Latakia, where the military is blasting the port city with gunfire from land and sea.

Activists and witnesses say military vessels mounted with machine guns began firing on coastal districts Sunday, a day after tanks rolled into the city. They say at least 22 people have been killed by security forces during the two-day siege.

The government operation comes after protesters massed in Latakia and other cities on Friday and renewed calls for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian government has offered a different account of events in Latakia. On Sunday, the state-run SANA news agency said law enforcement officials were chasing heavily armed gunmen who had “terrified” residents in the city. The government has blamed much of the country’s deadly unrest on “armed groups” and “terrorists.”

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says security forces on Sunday were conducting a separate raid in Damascus suburbs, resulting in numerous arrests.

President Assad has been facing growing international condemnation for the crackdown.

On Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah called for an immediate end to the government’s violence against demonstrators.

In a separate phone call, Mr. Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron also agreed on the need for an immediate end to the bloodshed.

Also, Canada announced it is expanding economic sanctions against Syria, and one of the world’s largest Muslim inter-governmental organizations urged Syria to exercise restraint. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation also offered to play a role in dialogue in Syria.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council plans to meet Thursday to consider further action against the Syrian government.

Details of events in Syria are difficult to independently verify because the government allows very few foreign news reporters into the country and restricts their movements.

Rights groups and activists say at least 1,700 people have been killed since the start of the government’s crackdown.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: