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SYRIA: Gloves come off in violent suppression of protests [Videos]

August 5, 2011 |  7:01 am

Syrian security forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad have taken the kid gloves off in a no-holds-barred offensive against their own people.

Video footage posted to the Internet on Friday, the first Muslim sabbath during the holy month of Ramadan, is said to show security forces wielding weapons as they scurried through the streets of the restive Damascus suburb of Moadhamiya. 

Parts of the country resembled war zones as armed men loyal to Assad opened fire on peaceful protesters.

Syria-protest In the video clip above, said to have been filmed in the Arbaeen district just outside central Damascus, protesters can be seen ducking for cover amid the sound of gunfire.

Assad and his small coterie of loyalists, backed by the country's Allawite Muslim minority, appear determined to retain their grip on power despite  a burgeoning protest movement that appears to be spreading to all corners of the country week after week. 

In the video below, protesters in the town of Deir Baalbeh, near the city of Homs, are said to be bringing in a badly wounded protester inside what appears to be a mosque as they chant "God is great."

Previously, some people in smaller Syrian towns and villages were too frightened to join demonstrations for fear they could easily be identified and later arrested by Assad's complex of domestic spy agencies, called the mokhabarat.

But as the video below purportedly shows, in the Mediterranean Sea town of Jableh, near Latakia, protesters on Friday got around this challenge by wearing masks painted like Syrian flags. It makes for captivating imagery. 

-- Los Angeles Times

Video credit: YouTube