Thursday, April 28, 2011

Assad under pressure as hundreds of Baathists quit

From AFP, Wed Apr 27:

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Foreign pressure mounted on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and hundreds of members resigned from his party, as troops kept their grip on the flashpoint town of Daraa.

...233 members of Syria's ruling Baath party announced their resignation in protest at the deadly crackdown on protesters, according to lists seen by AFP.

...Baath party signatories from the Banias region, which covers Daraa, condemned "the house raids and the indiscriminate use of live fire against people, homes, mosques and churches."

...The Security Council, however, failed to agree on a statement condemning the killing of Syrian protesters  ...talks ended in deadlock ...France called for "strong measures"  ...The United States said Assad must "change course now" ...

Russia and China blocked the statement proposed by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal that would have condemned the violence and backed calls for an independent investigation.

The European Union, meanwhile, is mulling sanctions and the UN human rights body has called for a special session in the wake of the Syrian regime's bloody crackdown ...
...the military assault on Daraa, 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Damascus, has left more than 30 people dead since Monday, with at least 453 civilians killed across Syria since protests first erupted in mid-March...
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