Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous Post | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next Post »

SYRIA: Thousands in Khaldieh protest Assad regime [Video]

September 2, 2011 | 11:11 am

Thousands of protesters from the restive Syrian town of Khaldieh are shown demanding the end of the four decades of rule of the Assad family, a new video (above) purportedly taken Friday shows.

The video shows the Khaldieh town square, in the central province of Homs, overflowing with anti-regime protesters waving Syrian flags, some hidden by the dark shadows of surrounding buildings on a Friday of protests dubbed "Death but Not Indignity." 

Activists say that at least 11 protesters have been killed, most of them in the tribal governorate of Dair Alzour bordering Iraq. 

"The people want to topple the regime," they yell in unison. Brutal crackdowns in Homs this week seem to have left pro-democracy protesters even more determined to defy security forces that remain loyal to President Bashar Assad.

ErbeenActivists have reported the shelling of local mosques in the Damascus suburbs of Hajar al Aswad and Erbeen, where at least one person has died.

In Maaret Naaman, a suburb of the capital, the spokesperson of the opposition network, the Local Coordination Committees,  reported that worshipers had been forced to give their names at the doors of mosques, where security forces had lists of suspects. 

In some cases, soldiers entered mosques during prayers in order to arrest anti-regime demonstrators, reported activists across Syria. 

In the video below, soldiers dressed in green uniforms approach men wearing white robes, the traditional religious attire worn during prayer.

After a swift confrontation with worshipers present outside the Moussa Bin Nasser mosque on Sabeel Street in Dara, security forces run into the building. Young men in black shirts and blue jeans then begin throwing stones and firing tear gas at the worshippers.

In the video below, protesters march through the streets of Amouda, suburb of the Syrian capital, with a puppet of Bashar Assad hung on a stick. 

Protesters carry various banners; between them is a large flag with the word "Freedom" written across it. 

"The people don't want him, let the Syrians raise their hands," anti-Assad protesters sing, slamming the regime of the Baath ruler and calling for his resignation. 

On Wednesday, the attorney general of the Hama governorate, Adnan Bakkour, announced his resignation in a video uploaded on YouTube, saying that the Assad regime and plainclothes security forces had murdered peaceful unarmed protestors. 

The resignation of a such a high-ranking official in Syria is a rare event, as important posts are usually filled with ardent Assad supporters. 

Activists across Hama have praised the lawyer's move, hoping that many others would follow his lead. 

Video footage posted online on Friday shows thousands of protesters in front of Bakkour's house holding banners in solidarity with the ex-attorney general. 

In the video above, the camera zooms in on one of the posters.

"Adnan Bakkour is our hero," it reads. 

-- Roula Hajjar in Beirut

Videos: Images said to show anti-Assad protesters in the province of Homs on Friday; worshipers are assaulted in front of a mosque by security forces in Dara; demonstrators take to the streets in the Damascus suburb of Amouda; Hama residents gather in front of Adnan Bakkour's home in solidarity. Credit: YouTube. 

Photo: Image said to show a poster describing the shelling of mosques in Erbeen, a suburb of Damascus,  during Friday protests. Credit: YouTube.