Aleppo joined the protest movement with some pizazz today, as the official intimidation campaign continues to unfold.
Aleppo witnessed major demonstration today led by university students. Over 2,000 students are said to have taken part in what’s so far the largest protests witnessed by Syria’s northern capital. Over 200 students, including 5 female students, have been detained by security forces who broke the demonstration using tear gas.
Reports from the city of Rastan speak of clashes between army units laying siege to the city and security forces, but the only thing that can be confirmed at this stage is addition of more tanks to the city’s periphery as a video below shows. Yesterday, another video showed people standing on top of any army tanks and interacting in a friendly manner with the soldiers. Eyewitness reports said yesterday that the army units had promised to protect them from security officers.
Encouraged by statements made yesterday by Turkey’s PM, Rajab Tayib Erdogan, in which he said that his government will not stand idly by and allow another Hama Massacre to take place, the people of Hama organized a huge demonstration today calling for lifting the siege on Deraa. The demonstrations continue well into the night when security forces used tear gas and water canons, and then life ammunition to disperse protesters who were shouting “the people want to topple the regime.”
Meanwhile, in Deraa, units affiliated with the 4th Division are now in complete control of the besieged city and the arrest, intimidation and propaganda campaign remains in full swing.
Syria’s Kurdish youth activists remain committed to the revolution and has been organizing daily protests in Qamishly, Amoudeh and now Derik. Protesters call for lifting the siege, and express their commitment to freedom and national unity.
Despite the siege imposed on Banyas and its effect on local economy, the population remains defiant, and people continue to hold daily rallies in support of Deraa, Jableh and other Syrian cities, towns and communities taking part in the protest movement.
The Damascene suburb of Zabadani witnessed a major arrest campaign yesterday, with reports putting the total at 500 men of all ages. Today, the women of the city took to the streets, despite heavy security presence and demanded release of their men.
Homs too witnessed her share of demonstrations in support of Deraa, especially in the neighborhood of Bab Al-Sibaa.