Posted by : الدكتور احمد جمعة August 20, 2011

Syrian Revolution News Round-up
Day 157: Thursday, 18 Aug 2011

Today, Assad told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that military operations in Syria have ended। That announcement came ahead of the United States, EU, and Canada calling for him to step down. The US has also slapped Assad with new sanctions, freezing state assets and blacklisting the oil and gas sector, in an escalation of pressure aimed at halting Assad’s security crackdown. The White House expressed hope that EU nations would follow suit, as the United States has limited leverage over Assad’s oil business compared to the Europeans.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the new US sanctions would "strike at the heart of the Syrian regime." While Assad finds himself between a rock and a hard place, he still refuses to mitigate his brutality or deceit. Indeed, even as he was declaring the end of military operations, his forces were sieging and invading several Syrian cities, including Aleppo, where Assad forces attacked and arrested the residents of Hayyan, and Lattakia, which is still under siege and undergoing heavy military operations in the neighborhoods of Saleeba, Ashrafiya, Sijn, Qusoor, Bustan Seidawi, Bustan Hamami, Bustan Samakeh, Skenturi, Mashroua Saleeba, Sheikh Daher, Tabiyat, Masbah al-Shaab, Qnaines, Tareeq Harsh, Mar Taqla, Ain Tamra, and Ugarit square.
Reports indicate that thousands — not hundreds — are currently detained in the sports complex in the city, while witnesses have said the army is arranging the bodies of murdered civilians to look like fallen soldiers and to be filmed by Addounia TV and Syria TV। In Homs, demonstrators were shot at and neighborhoods were subjected to house-to-house searches and arrests in Qaseer, Bab Sbaa, Hay Khudar, Waar, Deir Baalba, Bab Draib, Jab Jandali, and Qraytain. In Damascus, where the number of demonstrators has increased over the past couple of weeks, demonstrators took to the streets today for the first time ever in the upscale Qusoor area। In Kafr Susa, young men in their twenties are being targeted with random arrests, since demonstrations have been breaking out almost daily from that area. Despite brutal security crackdowns and the threat of future violence, demonstrations were reported in Maysaloun Street in Latakia, and in Hama. Many demonstrators today carried signs with apologies to the Palestinians for the massacres committed against them in the Raml refugee camp in Latakia; some of the signs said, "I am sorry, Assad does not discriminate between the people and the " The Assads have long used the Palestinian case as an ace to bring out while negotiating regionally and internationally। The regime has always promoted and marketed itself as a protector of the Palestinians। Today proves that the Assads have only been using the Palestinian issue in an effort to add some legitimacy to their illegitimate existence — which is now drawing to a ।

International Reactions
Harper, Obama call on Assad to step down — but military action ruled out - Montreal Gazette
U.S., Europe call for Syrian leader al-Assad to step down - CNN

Prepared by
Ausama Monajed and others

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