Assad calls for dialog with opposition as his security forces keep shooting people, which only reinforces the stand of protesters who see no possibility for real dialog with him on board: Assad must go!
Saturday 14, 2011
The violent crackdown spearheaded by Assads security forces in cooperation with army units, moved to the city of Talkalakh near the Syrian-Lebanese border. Over the last couple of weeks, the city had fallen completely under the control of the protest leaders, ina development similar to what had taken place in Deraa City, among other towns and communities in Horan, as well as Banyas, Talbisseh, Rastan, etc. on May 13, thousands of local residents poured to the streets calling for “toppling the regime” as local Baath members declared that they had quit the party in protest over the violent crackdown in the country. Army units moved into town later that evening. On Saturday, eyewitnesses reported four fatalities, dozens of casualties and mass arrests. Hundreds of residents left the city and crossed the border into Wadi Khalid in Lebanon. The city remains under siege.
Eyewitness account from Deraa City:
Basic services are still down. Curfew is in place starting at 2pm and until 8am. Mosques are closed and men are forbidden to come to the streets on Fridays. The call for prayer is not allowed, but people have adopted a new custom in this regard: when residents of houses lying close to the Jordanian city of Ramtha hear the calls to prayer coming from there, they open their windows and repeated the call, which gets picked up by people in neighboring houses and so on, soon, the entire city is alerted. Security officers get very jumpy around this time, when they are not busy looting houses and shops whose owners have left the city.
Mosques and schools are being used as detention camps, and copies of the Quran are often trampled underfoot byway of insulting the local populace.
Tanks are now back in the streets especially in the downtown area. Meanwhile, two contradictory activities are taking place simultaneously: in some neighborhoods, the destruction of local basic infrastructure, including electricity polls, continues. The main streets, however, are being resurfaced and walls are being washed and repainted to remove all traces of anti-regime slogans and graffiti, perhaps in preparation for a future visit by a UN commission, or any foreign delegation.
Despite all, this, a mostly women and children demonstration took place on May 13, and participants still chanted calling for toppling the regime and removal of Bashar Al-Assad from power.
Talkalakh / Friday May 13:mass resignations from the Baath Party. “The people want to topple the regime” “Assad is the enemy of God.” Army laid siege to the city after this and entered the city later that evening.