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Demos Continue Across Syria, Major Escalation in Damascus, and Armed Syrian Diplomats Attack Syrian Protestors in Paris

 

Syrian demonstrators in the Chatelier square in Paris were attacked today by armed diplomats from the Syrian embassy in France. The demonstrators, who have been staging a sit-in and holding demonstrations at the square for the past five weeks, were beaten and threatened by Assad thugs before the police intervened and arrested the thugs.

 

However, six of the nine arrested thugs were released immediately because they carried diplomatic passports, despite the fact that two of them were in possession of weapons. Three of the demonstrators later visited the police station to file a complaint and sue the attackers. Upon leaving the police station, they were again attacked, this time by approximately a dozen thugs with sticks and iron bars. They ran to hide in a nearby restaurant until the police arrived. This was the first attack against Syrian demonstrators in Paris, and it included prominent Syrian figures in France, such as Professor Borhan Ghalyoun who teaches Political Science at the Sorbonne University, film director Hala al-Abdulla, actress Dareena al-Jundi, and screenwriter Hala Omran. The demonstrators expressed concern that the French authorities did not hold the Syrian embassy accountable for these acts. Similar incidents, in which Assad loyalists have broken host country laws without any state reaction, have taken place across Europe.

 

This Friday, known as the Friday of Patience and Perseverance, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets at over a hundred locations throughout Syria. The most significant were in Homs, as demonstrations broke out in Waar, Qosur, Qarabis, Maidan, Karm Shami, Inshaat, Ghouta, Hamra, Bab Hood, Bab Draib, Bab Sbaa, Marriaja, Warsha, Ishaira, Shammas, Karm Zaytoun, Naziheen, Jab Jandali, Bayyada, Khaldiya, Deir Baalba, Bab Amr, Jorat al-Arayes, and Jorat al-Shayyah. The cities of Palmyra, Hoola, Qasir, Rastan, Talbisa, and Qraytin demonstrated in the municipality. Security forces reacted by attacking Bab Sbaa, Adawiya, Qaseer, and Farabi checkpoints with heavy fire from armored units to disperse demonstrators, but they were unsuccessful.

 

Military operations are still underway in Lattakia, Hama, Daraa and Deir Azzour, with Boukamal the latest city to be invaded by tanks in the eastern province. 

 

The most significant developments today took place in Damascus. After security forces attacked demonstrators in Rifai mosque in Kafar Sousa, the families of the local neighborhoods held a sit-in at the Kafar Sousa square, triggering thousands of demonstrators from all around the city to join them. The regime immediately dispatched dozens of buses with security forces, paid thugs and mercenaries based in the suburbs to deal with the Kafar Sousa demo, which gave an opening to demonstrators in Damascus suburbs to flock to the Abbasside square for a sit-in. The regime dispatched security forces under the cover of helicopters to deal with them, but all attempts were in vain. Live rounds and teargas were fired at the demonstrators, resulting in the deaths of at least two and several dozen injuries. It was confirmed that major defections took place within Maher Assadís Fourth Division, leading the regime to tighten security in Damascus, particularly the State TV & Radio HQ. With the success of this first Damascus sit-in, Syrians have become even more optimistic that victory is not far off.

 

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