By the pool, glistening, oiled, and muscular bodies gyrated to a juiced-up version of Adele’s Someone Like You. Atop huge speakers, a Russian dancer swayed suggestively in front of the young, beautiful Syrian
Authorities here have been reluctant to set up refugee camps, possibly to avoid angering Syrian President Bashar Assad’s autocratic regime by showing images at his doorstep of civilians fleeing his military onslaught against them.
A total of 33 professional and citizen journalists have been killed since the start of the uprising in Syria in March 2001, Reporters Without Borders said today, after attending yesterday’s meeting of the “Friends of Syria” in Paris as an observer.
Confined to crutches after he lost a leg in a farming accident years before, he had been unable to join his friends when they fought government troops that stormed the northern Syrian town of Atarib.
As I excitedly followed the fiery election campaigns that dominated the airwaves and filled the myriad independent newspapers, little did I know that my first chance to vote would not come for another 47 years – until July 7, 2012.
The violence has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months and it is difficult to assign blame for much of the bloodshed as the country spirals toward civil war it reported.
The Syrian town of al-Qusayr, near the border with Lebanon, has been shelled repeatedly for over a month.
Syrian artillery hit villages in northern Lebanon on Saturday killing two women and a man and wounding scores more after opposition rebels crossed the border into Lebanon, residents said.
The protesters were leaving mosques for weekly Friday anti-regime regime protests that were ignited three weeks ago by rising inflation in the nation, when a witness said volleys of teargas were fired at them.
Rebel fighters suffered heavy loses during battles late on Wednesday night in Khan Sheikhoun, a town in rural Idlib province that straddles the strategic western highway linking Damascus and Aleppo.
Norwegian Major General Robert Mood told reporters in the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday that there must be a ceasefire in order for his teams to resume their work.
Egyptian revolutionaries piled pressure on new President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday to free protesters jailed by military courts, as he tried to forge a government strong enough to make a difference to a frustrated population. The popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak last year delivered Egypt’s first free leadership vote but sparked an economic crisis and a chaotic spell of army rule that saw thousands of civilians given military trials and thrown in jail.
Libyans will vote in their first free national poll in more than half a century on Saturday amid fears that violence could taint an election meant to usher in an interim national assembly and draw a line under Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year autocratic reign.
Police and security forces arrested about 1,000 people, torturing some, during a two-week crackdown on anti-government protests in Sudan, activist groups said. Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets and used batons to quell demonstrations after Friday prayers in Khartoum and other cities, activists said.
When rifle-toting members of Syria’s shabbiha pro-government paramilitary gangs strut into a shop, cowed residents of Homs know to clear out of their way. Accused of atrocities that include the massacre last month of scores of women and children – many of whose throats were slit and heads bashed in – the militiamen cut to the front of the queue as shoppers shrink back and staff rush to serve them.
A new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that Syrian intelligence agencies are running torture centers across the country where detainees are beaten with batons and cables, burned with acid, sexually assaulted, and their fingernails torn out.
A Syrian general from an artillery division and seven officers were among 85 soldiers, mostly serving in Homs province, who defected and fled to Turkey on Monday afternoon, a Syrian activist and Free Syrian Army sources told Reuters.
Their reaction held out little hope for an end to more than 15 months of carnage on a day when the main opposition group said 800 people were killed in violence in the past week alone. Opposition activists groups say more than 14,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian rule began in March 2011, or on average about 900 a month.