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March 28, 2023

World ire mounts toward Syria amid bloody crackdown

Pressure at the United Nations and world capitals mounted on Tuesday on Syria’s government as a fierce security crackdown on peaceful protests overnight left dozens of deaths, injuries and arrests, CNN informs.

At least 24 people were killed, dozens were wounded, and more than 150 people have been detained across the country after Ramadan prayers late Monday night, Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of London-based human rights group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

Those slain include 10 in the western city of Hama, six in the Damascus suburb of Irbeen, three in Homs province, two in Boukamal, two in Latakia on the coast and one in Madamaiya near Damascus, Abdul-Rahman said.

Hama hospitals have been overwhelmed; patients were being treated in hallways and the morgues were overflowing, a doctor in Hama said. The bloodshed follows a violent weekend in the volatile city, where dozens of people were reported killed and hospitals overwhelmed.

Syrian state-run media reported Tuesday that “armed groups” were behind an assault in Hama on Monday.

But activists have consistently said security forces initiated the violence in Hama — the scene of a brutal military crackdown in 1982 targeting Sunni Muslims by the Alawite-dominated government led by Hafez al-Assad, the father of current president Bashar al-Assad. People in Irbeen have managed to smuggle some of the wounded to secret locations so they can be treated discreetly out of fear that security forces abduct them from hospitals, according to the Coalition of Free Damascenes for Peaceful Change. The coalition also said residents have spotted several snipers on a building overlooking a square in Irbeen.

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