venerdì 25 maggio 2012
Syrians protest after morning prayers, opposition activists say
25 Maggio 2012
Planned protests were under way in various neighborhoods including the capital Damascus and the provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor.
As the protesters gathered, regime forces shelled the Homs neighborhoods of Sultanieh and Jobar, opposition activists said.
Security forces killed at least eight people in Syria on Friday, including seven in Hama province, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria.
One more person was killed in Qusair town in Homs province, the group said.
The United Nations said there is no fallback plan to deploying monitors to some of the nation's most embattled cities.
U.N. monitors on the ground in five cities are making "all possible efforts to stop violence" and have had "some dampening effect," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
However, they have not managed to completely cease the violence, he said.
Ban said the full cadre of observers -- 300 -- authorized by the Security Council last month would be on site in the coming days.
"They are patrolling every day, whenever possible," he said. "They try their best to cease this violence. It requires strong political will at the level of President Assad, and also it requires full cooperation by the opposition forces."
As protests continue, a report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria noted the growing power of forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
"Whereas government forces had previously been responding primarily to demonstrations, they now face armed and well-organized fighters -- bolstered by defectors who joined them," the report said.
"Gross violations continue unabated," the commission's report said, adding regime forces commit most of the human rights violations
Violence has raged daily. About 40 civilians were killed across the country Thursday, the committees of Syria said. Most of the deaths were in the provinces of Homs, Hama and Idlib.
U.N. officials say more than 9,000 people, mostly civilians, have died and tens of thousands have been uprooted since the uprising began in March 2011. Opposition groups report a higher death toll in excess of 11,000 people.
The commission said abuses have mounted since March, even though al-Assad's government and opposition forces said they have embraced U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan that includes a cease-fire.
The report pointed to bombing attacks in Damascus, Aleppo and Daraa between March and May, including the suicide car bombings in Damascus on May 10 that left 55 people dead.
The report was issued as Syria's newly elected parliament convened to elect a speaker and swear in new members. The government said the elections were all-inclusive, but opposition forces call the process a sham.(da "CNN")