Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thousands of protesters gathered in al-Hasakah

Thousands of protesters gathered in al-Hasakah, Daraa,Deir ez-Zor, and Hama. There were some clashes with security, according to reports from dissident groups. In Damascus, a smaller group of 200 men grew spontaneously to about 1,500 men. Damascus has not seen such uprising since the 1980s.[110][111] Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery These events lead to a "Friday of Dignity" on 18 March, when large-scale protests broke out in several cities, including Banias, Damascus, al-Hasakah, Daraa, Deir az-Zor and Hama. Police responded to the protests with tear gas, water canons, beatings and even live ammunition. At least 6 people were killed and many others injured. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery Over the course of the uprising, protests often gathered after Friday communal prayers at central mosques. Over the next few days the security forces broke up a silent gathering in Marjeh square in Damascus. The protest saw to 150 people holding up pictures of their family and friends who were imprisoned by the regime. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery Security forces also shot people dead in Daraa. This incident led to thousands taking to the streets calling for democracy. The security crackdown on these protesters led to several more days of protests and even more civilians shot dead by the security forces.[105] Increasingly, the city of Daraa became the focal point for the growing uprising, with large demonstrations day after day. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery This city has been straining under the influx of internal refugees who were forced to leave their northeastern lands due to a drought which was exacerbated by the government's lack of provision.[112]Over 100,000 people reportedly marched in Daraa on 25 March,[113] but at least 20 protesters were reportedly killed. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery Protests also spread to other Syrian cities, including Homs, Hama, Baniyas, Jasim, Aleppo, Damascus and Latakia. Over 70 protesters in total were reported dead. Even before the uprising began, the Syrian government conducted numerous arrests of protestors, political activists and human rights campaigners, many of whom were labeled "terrorists" by Assad. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery In early February, authorities arrested several activists, including political leaders Ghassan al-Najar,[115] Abbas Abbas,[116] and Adnan Mustafa.[117] The police often responded to the protests violently, not only using water cannons and tear gas, but also beating protesters and firing live ammunition.[118] Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery As the uprising began, the Syrian government waged a campaign of arrests that had caught tens of thousands of people, according to lawyers and activists in Syria and human rights groups. In response to the uprising, Syrian law had been changed to allow the police and any of the nation's 18 security forces to detain a suspect for eight days without a warrant. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery Arrests focused on two groups: political activists, and men and boys from the towns that the Syrian Army would start to besiege in April.[119] Many of those detained experienced various forms of torture and ill-treatment. Many detainees were cramped in tight rooms and were given limited resources, and some were beaten, electrically jolted, or debilitated. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery At least 27 torture centers, run by Syrian intelligence agencies were revealed by Human Rights Watch on 3 July 2012. During March and April, the Syrian government, hoping to alleviate the unrest, offered political reforms and policy changes. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery Authorities shortened mandatory army conscription,[121] and in an apparent attempt to reduce corruption, fired the governor of Daraa.[122] The government announced it would release political prisoners, cut taxes, raise the salaries of public sector workers, provide more press freedoms, and increase job opportunities. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery Many of these announced reforms were never implemented. The government, dominated by the Alawite sect, made some concessions to the majority Sunni and some minority populations. Authorities reversed a ban that restricted teachers from wearing the niqab, and closed the country's only casino. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery The government also granted citizenship to thousands of Syrian Kurds previously labeled "foreigners".[95] A popular demand from protestors was an end of the nation’s state of emergency, which had been in effect for nearly 50 years. The emergency law had been used to justify arbitrary arrests and detention, and to ban political opposition. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery After weeks of debate, Assad signed the decree on 21 April, lifting Syria’s state of emergency. Anti-government protests continued in April, with activists unsatisfied with what they considered vague promises of reform from Assad. During the month, the uprising became more extensive and more violent, Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery as the government sent security forces into restive towns and cities. Many protesters were arrested, beaten, shot or killed. President Assad characterizes the opposition as armed terrorist groups with Islamist "takfiri" extremist motives, portraying himself as the last guarantee for a secular government form.[127] Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery Early in the month, a large deployment of security forces prevented tent encampments in Latakia. Blockades were set up in several cities, to prevent the movement of protests. Despite the crackdown, widespread protests remained throughout the month in Daraa, Baniyas, Al-Qamishli, Homs, Douma and Harasta. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery Since demonstrations began in March, the Syrian government has restricted independent news coverage, barring foreign free press outlets and arresting reporters who try to cover protests. Some journalists had been reported to have gone missing, been detained, been tortured in custody, Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery or been killed on duty. International media have relied heavily on footage shot by civilians, who would often upload the files on the internet.[129] The government disabled mobile phones, landlines, electricity, and the Internet in several places. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery Authorities had extracted passwords of social media sites from journalists through beatings and torture. The pro-government online group the Syrian Electronic Army had frequently hacked websites to post pro-regime material, and the government has been implicated in malware attacks targeted at those reporting on the crisis. Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery The government also targeted and tortured political cartoonists who were critical of the crackdown. Propaganda has been used by the Syrian government since the beginning of the conflict.[131] SANA, the government’s official news agency, often refers to the opposition as “armed gangs” or “terrorists.” Sony VAIO VGN-CS51B/W Battery Although there are extremists fighting against the government,[132] most independent media sources do not refer to the opposition as terrorists. Television interviews sometimes use government supporters disguised as locals who stand near sites of destruction and claim that they were caused by rebel fighters. Sony VAIO VGN-CS52JB/W Battery Public school instructors teach students that the ongoing conflict is a foreign conspiracy.[133] There have been several occurrences of videos of violence circulated by social media on both sides, but have been turned out to be footage from conflicts in other countries. When the uprising began in mid-March, many analysts believed that the Syrian government would remain intact, Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/P Battery partly due to strict loyalty tests and the fact that most top-position officials belonged to the same sect as Assad, the Alawites. However, in response to the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters, many soldiers and low-level officers began to desert from the Syrian Army. Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/Q Battery Many soldiers who refused to open fire against civilians were summarily executed by the army. As the uprising progressed, senior military officers and government officials began to defect as well to theopposition.[135] The number of defections would increase during the following months, as army deserters began to group together to form fighting units. Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/R Battery Over the course of the uprising and the subsequent civil war, the opposition fighters would become more well-equipped and organized as they received funds and supplies from foreign nations. Important defectors included Riad al-Asaad, who would become the commander of the main rebel army, Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/P Battery Manaf Tlass, a former brigadier general of the Republican Guard, Riyad Farid Hijab, the former prime minister of Syria, Nawaf al-Fares, the Syrian ambassador to Iraq, and many more. In mid-September 2012, Israeli media claimed that one of Assad's relatives, Yousef Assad, Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/Q Battery also a high ranking Syrian Air Force officer, announced his defection to the opposition.[136] This was the first defection of a close relative of Assad in the 18-month conflict. In December 2012, it was announced that Jihad Makdissi, who served as the Foreign ministry spokesman of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/R Battery from 1998 to 2012, was on his way to London.[137][138] Some reports claimed he was on his way to the U.S.A.[139] Some analysts claimed that these defections were signs of Assad's weakening inner circle. As the protests and unrest continued, the Syrian government began launching major military operations to suppress resistance. Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/P Battery This signaled a new phase in the uprising, as the government response changed from a mix of concessions and force to violent repression. On 25 April, Daraa, which had become a focal point of the uprising, was one of the first cities to be besieged by the Syrian Army. An estimated hundreds to 6,000 soldiers were deployed, Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/Q Battery firing live ammunition at demonstrators and searching house to house for protestors.[141] Tanks were used for the first time against protestors, and snipers took positions on rooftops. Mosques used as headquarters for demonstrators and organizers were especially targeted.[141] Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/R Battery Security forces began shutting off water, power and phone lines, and confiscating flour and food. Clashes between the army and opposition forces, which included armed protestors and defected soldiers, led to the death of hundreds.[142] About 600 people were arrested during the crackdown.[143] Sony VAIO VGN-CS71B/W Battery By 5 May, most of the protests had been suppressed, and the military began pulling out of Daraa. However, some troops remained to keep the situation under control. During the crackdown in Daraa, the Syrian Army also besieged and blockaded several towns and suburbs around Damascus. Sony VAIO VGN-CS72JB/W Battery Throughout May, situations similar to those that occurred in Daraa were reported in other besieged towns and cities, such asBaniyas, Homs, Talkalakh, Latakia, and several other towns.[144][145] After the end of each siege, the violent suppression of sporadic protests in the area continued throughout the following months. Sony VAIO VGN-CS90HS Battery The military crackdown, led by an Alawite government, worsened tensions between Sunnis and Alawites in the country. A 17 May report of claims by refugees coming from Telkalakh on the Lebanese border indicated that sectarian attacks may have been occurring. Sunni refugees said that uniformed Alawite Shabiha militiamen were killing Sunnis in the town of Telkalakh. Sony VAIO VGN-CS90NS Battery As the uprising progressed, sectarian elements increasingly emerged from the conflict.[148] In June, the Syrian Army expanded operations, and besieged Rastan and Talbiseh. Some besieged cities and towns were described having famine-like conditions.[149] Sony VAIO VGN-CS90S Battery The army also besieged the northern cities of Jisr ash-Shugur[150] and Maarat al-Numaan near the Turkish border.[151] The Syrian Army claimed the towns were the site of mass graves of Syrian security personnel killed during the uprising and justified the attacks as operations to rid the region of "armed gangs",[152Sony VAIO VGN-CS91HS Battery ]though local residents claimed the dead Syrian troops and officers were executed for refusing to fire on protesters.[153] On 30 June, large protests erupted against the Assad government in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, which were labeled the "Aleppo volcano".[154] On 3 July, Syrian tanks were deployed at Hama two days after the city witnessed the largest demonstration against Bashar al-Assad.[155] Sony VAIO VGN-CS91NS Battery Attacks on protests continued throughout July, with government forces repeatedly firing at protesters and employing tanks against demonstrations, as well as conducting arrests. On 31 July, a nationwide crackdown nicknamed the "Ramadan Massacre" resulted in the death of at least 142 people and hundreds of injuries. Sony VAIO VGN-CS91S Battery On 29 July, a group of defected officers announced the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which would become the main opposition army. Composed of defected Syrian Armed Forces personnel and civilian volunteers, the rebel army seeks to remove Bashar al-Assad and his secular government from power. Sony VAIO VGN-CS92DS Battery This began a new phase in the conflict, with more armed resistance against the government crackdown. The FSA would grow in size, to about 20,000 by December, and to an estimated 40,000 by June 2012.[157] By October, the FSA would start to receive military support from Turkey, Sony VAIO VGN-CS92JS Battery who allowed the rebel army to operate its command and headquarters from the country's southern Hatay province close to the Syrian border, and its field command from inside Syria.[30] The FSA would often launch attacks into Syria’s northern towns and cities, while using the Turkish side of the border as a safe zone and supply route. Sony VAIO VGN-CS92XS Battery A year after its formation, the FSA would gain control over many towns close to the Turkish border. On 23 August, a coalition of anti-government groups was formed, the Syrian National Council. The group, based in Turkey, attempted to organize the opposition. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11E Battery However, the opposition, including the FSA, remained a fractious collection of political groups, longtime exiles, grass-roots organizers and armed militants, divided along ideological, ethnic or sectarian lines.[158] Throughout August, Syrian forces stormed major urban centers and outlying regions, and continued to attack protests. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11L Battery On 14 August, the Siege of Latakiacontinued as the Syrian Navy for the first time became involved in the military crackdown. Gunboats fired heavy machine guns at waterfront districts in Latakia as ground troops and security agents backed by armor stormed several neighborhoods, causing up to 28 deaths. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M Battery Throughout the next few days, the siege dragged on, with government forces and shabiha militia continuing to fire on civilians in the city, as well as throughout the country. The Eid ul-Fitr celebrations, started in near the end of August, were reportedly muted after security forces fired on large demonstrations in Homs, Daraa, and the suburbs of Damascus.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S Battery During the first six months of the uprising, the inhabitants of Syria's two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, remained largely uninvolved in the anti-government protests.[161] The two cities' central squares have seen organized rallies of hundreds of thousands in support of president Assad and his government. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery Analysts and even opposition activists themselves acknowledge that without mass participation in the protest movement from these two cities, the government will survive and avoid the fate of its autocratic counterparts in Egypt and Tunisia. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-FW140AE Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-FW140D Battery

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