Protests in Deraa are no longer restricted to Daraa City, but now expanded to included many of towns and villages nearby, especially Jassem and Daael. Still several arrests were reported, though it is not clear whether they were arrested today or yesterday: Youssef Al-Sayassneh, Shukri Al-Mahameed, Muhammad Jabr Al-Massalmeh, Issam Al-Mahameed, and Issa Al-Massalmeh. Hundreds are reported missing.
As we confirmed yesterday, statue of Hafiz Al-Assad in Deraa’s main square was demolished, all posters of Bashar were torn, and “Down With Assad” slogan was sprayed on walls of many of schools.
The main event today was in Qamishly where Kurds poured into the streets to celebrate Newruz. Though no clashes with authority were reported, speakers at the celebrations called for ending state of emergency, release of political prisoners, and respect for political freedoms. In a gesture of support to the revolution, protesters raised the Syrian flag on the stage.
At night, celebrations turned to protests, with protesters filling the narrow streets of the city, shouting “Freedom, Freedom, Freedom” and cars honked their horns.
Meanwhile, small demonstrations continued to take part in various Damascene neighborhoods and suburbs, including Kafar Sousseh, Douma, Mouaddamiyyah and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad.