Backed by tanks and helicopters, Syrian forces swept into the restive northern town of Jisr al-Shoughour late Friday, pressing an offensive against a town that had offered the stiffest challenge yet to four decades of Assad family rule.
Syrian forces equipped with dozens of tanks were reportedly massed outside a near-deserted town near the Turkish border as the revolt against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad entered a potentially decisive phase.
European powers are increasing pressure on the UN Security Council to break its silence on events in Syria following a bloody government crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the country.
Hundreds of Syrians are crossing the northern border into Turkey in an attempt to escape growing violence in their own country. Many say they are fleeing the town of Jisr al-Shughour ahead of an expected military assault after dozens of soldiers were reportedly killed there.
As reports mount of defections in the Syrian military and the government staggers from the killing of soldiers and police officers in a northern city this week, President Bashar al-Assad may turn increasingly to his brother, Maher, whose elite units in a demoralized army could prove decisive to his government s survival, activists and analysts say.
Syria's opposition said Tuesday that a military mutiny in the town of Jisr al-Shaghur is behind the recent violence that left more than 120 people dead. The government said armed groups attacked security forces and a security post and set fire to government buildings on Monday, leaving up to 123 policemen dead
Syria s state news agency reported Monday that 'armed gangs' had killed 80 police and security personnel in multiple attacks on security forces in a northwestern town, and that residents were 'pleading' for the army to intervene.
Syrian opposition protesters are not just calling for the fall of President Bashar al-Assad: they have recently begun directing their anger against his regional allies, Iran and Hezbollah. Our Observer says this is a new and unexpected turn of events.
Syrian security forces have killed at least three demonstrators in the country's northwest on a day more than 100,000 mourners turned out for the funerals of protesters killed in the city of Hama, rights groups say.
Syrian security forces opened fire on some of the largest anti-government protests in the 10-week uprising so far, leaving at least 63 people dead in towns and cities around the country, activists say.
Syrian activists have called for protests on Friday over the dozens of children killed in anti-government protests, as the opposition continues to demand the "immediate resignation" of Bashar al-Assad, the country's president.
Syrian security forces killed 27 protesters in the city of Hama where tens of thousands had been demonstrating against President Bashar Assad on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Syrian security forces have killed at least 13 civilians in the latest crackdown on pro-democracy protests, rights groups say, as opposition leaders meeting in Turkey called for President Bashar al-Assad to step down and lay the framework for democratic elections to be held within a year.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has issued a decree granting a general amnesty, state media say. It said the amnesty would cover all political movements, including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Opposition figures were quick to dismiss the move
A document shared with The Associated Press says Syria has agreed to fully cooperate with U.N. attempts to probe strong evidence that it secretly built a reactor that could have been used to make nuclear arms.
Opposition groups in Syria say the army has moved into towns and villages in the centre of the country, killing protesters. Residents said on Sunday that troops have stormed the town of Talbiseh, where five people are said to have been killed.
Syrian troops have attacked two towns north of the capital Damascus, as they continue a crackdown against anti-government protests, reports say. Witnesses said the troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, surrounded Rastan and Talbisa early on Sunday and searched houses for protesters.
Turkey has urged Syria to introduce more reforms following months of anti-government protests across the country. Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, should deliver "shock-therapy" reforms to end the protests, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, was quoted as saying on Friday.
At least three people have been killed in Qatana, a suburb of the capital Damascus, after Syrian security forces used live fire to disperse hundreds of anti-government demonstrators, activists say.
Syrian government forces are being blamed for the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians in a nine-week crackdown on nationwide anti-government demonstrations. Amar Qurabi, head of the Egypt-based National Organisation for Human Rights, said on Tuesday that his group has documented the names of 1,062 people killed since mid-March, along with the locations of where they died.
They came for the men first, as the security forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad killed, beat and arrested people protesting against his regime. Next, they came for the women of Syria's revolution. Despite the threats, however, they refuse to be silenced.
Thousands of Syrians took to the streets in virtually every region of the country on Friday in what appeared to be a sign of new momentum and a potentially dangerous turn in the nine-week uprising. Activists said security forces killed at least 26 people and wounded hundreds.
I was standing in two fist-sized pools of smeared, sticky blood, trying to sort out why there were seven angry Syrians yelling at me. Only one of them - who I came to know as Mr Shut Up during my three days in a detention center, where so many Syrians 'disappeared' are being kept - spoke English.
The US is to impose sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for human rights abuses, sources have said. It would be the first time Mr Assad has been targeted personally by the international community for his government's crackdown on protesters.
The video, which was posted on Friday May 13th shows the view from an apartment block in the city as an armoured personnel carrier (APC) roams the street beneath firing at every junction it passes.
At least four people have died after army troops stormed the town of Talkalakh in the restive Homs province in western Syria. Witnesses said those killed on Saturday were among dozens of people attempting to leave Talkalakh and enter Lebanon, which borders the town, a day after a mass demonstration there against the rule of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ordered troops not to fire on pro-democracy demonstrators, a rights campaigner told the Reuters news agency. This came ahead of Friday prayers that have become a rallying point for protesters in the country's now eight-week long uprising.
Syrians attempting to flee across the Lebanese border to escape the violent clampdown of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad are being rounded up and returned to an uncertain fate by Lebanese security forces, according to local residents.
The Syrian government has gained the upper hand over a seven-week uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, a senior official declared Monday, in the clearest sign yet that the leadership believes its crackdown will crush protests that have begun to falter in the face of hundreds of deaths and mass arrests.
The European Union is imposing an arms embargo on Syria, where the government is conducting a bloody crackdown on protesters. Monday's statement said the EU is also prohibiting 13 Syrian government officials from travelling anywhere in the 27-nation union, and is freezing the assets of those officials.
A military crackdown on Syria s seven-week uprising broadened Sunday, with reinforcements sent to two cities under siege and more forces deployed in a town in a restive region in the south of the country, activists and human rights groups said. Fourteen were killed in Homs, the groups said, and hundreds reported arrested.
Syrian security forces have conducted a raid on Baniyas, a hub of anti-government protests, amid demands by opponents of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, that he offer elections to end the crisis.
European Union agrees to impose sanctions on 14 Syrian officials for their part in government crackdown; EU is yet to sanction Syria President Bashar Assad, but may be added in time; Decision comes same day UN says sending team to Daraa.
Activists claim that up to 30 people have been killed in Syria where thousands have taken to the streets for another day of anti-government rallies, dubbed a "day of defiance". Human rights group Insan said that at least 16 people had been killed in the central city of Homs, six in Hama and two in Jableh. It said the total death toll was 26 but didn't specify where the other two deaths occurred.
A Syrian human rights group has accused the government of carrying out "10 days of massacres" against protesters in the southern city of Deraa. The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) says snipers and anti-aircraft machine guns are being used to fire on unarmed civilians.
Syrian security forces raided a restive Damascus suburb on Thursday, going house to house and arresting scores of men in a broad campaign that activists and American officials say represents a new chapter in the crackdown on the country s uprising against four decades of authoritarian rule.
Syrian security forces have escalated an arrest campaign in the country s most rebellious regions, detaining hundreds over the past few days in the besieged city of Dara a and towns on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, activists said on Monday.
Opposition reports over 50 civilians killed by Syrian authorities in protests throughout the country Friday; Syrian news agency says 'armed terrorist group' killed four soldiers; Muslim Brotherhood officially endorses protests.
Thousands of Syrians took to the streets of several towns and cities Friday in what organizers had proclaimed a 'Friday of Rage' against the government s bloody crackdown of a six-week uprising that has begun to reshape politics in one of the Arab world s most authoritarian countries, activists said.
A prestigious British university is to review the work of one of its academic research centres because its funding was arranged by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Guardian can reveal.
Syrian opposition figures have said their "massive grassroots revolution" will break the regime unless Bashar al-Assad, the president, leads a transition to democracy. The statement on Wednesday from an umbrella group of opposition activists in Syria and abroad, called the National Initiative for Change, said a democratic transition will "safeguard the nation from falling into a period of violence, chaos and civil war."
The Syrian Army stormed the restive city of Dara a with tanks and soldiers and helped detain dozens in towns across the country Monday in an escalation of the crackdown on Syria s five-week-old uprising, according to residents and human rights activists. They said at least 25 people had been killed in Dara a, with reports of bodies strewn in the streets.
The Syrian Army sent tanks rolling into the restive southern city of Dara a and carried out arrests in poor towns on the capital s outskirts Monday in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on Syria s five-week-old uprising, according to human rights activists and accounts posted on social networking sites. They said at least five people were killed in Dara a, and bodies were in the streets.
Dozens of residents have gone missing in Syria since Friday, many of them from the restive city of Homs and towns on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, human rights activists said Sunday, amid signs that the Syrian government may widen its crackdown on a five-week uprising that has already killed hundreds.
Security forces in Syria have shot dead at least nine people at funerals for anti-government protesters killed on Friday, reports say. They opened fire on mourners gathering in parts of the capital Damascus and near the flash-point southern town of Deraa, witnesses said.
Barack Obama, the US president, has said Syria's deadly crackdown on protesters "must come to an end now" and accused Damascus of seeking Iranian help to repress its people. Almost 90 protesters were killed on Friday, according to human rights group Amnesty International, in the bloodiest violence in a month of escalating protests against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's rule.
US President Barack Obama has accused Syria of using "outrageous" force against protesters and of seeking Iranian help to quell weeks of unrest. He condemned "in the strongest possible terms" Friday's violence in which more than 70 protesters were killed. He said President Bashar al-Assad refused to respect the rights of protesters, and had instead used the same tactics as his Iranian allies.
Dozens of people are reported to have been killed in Syria as security forces use live ammunition and tear gas to quell anti-government protests across the country. Activists sent a list naming 43 people from across the country who they said had been killed by security forces during the "Great Friday" protests.
Protesters in Syria have reported 60 people killed by security forces - the highest daily death toll in five weeks of unrest against President Assad. Protesters were shot when they gathered following Muslim Friday prayers, a day after the country's decades-long state of emergency was finally lifted.
Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has appointed a new governor in the central city of Homs, where witnesses say security forces have been deployed in anticipation of more protests. The official news agency said on Thursday that Ghassan Abdul-Al was named for the post after the government sacked his predecessor on April 7.
Syrian authorities have arrested opposition figure Mahmuod Issa in city of Homs, activists say, while reports of more detentions are coming out of a protest at the university in Aleppo.
The government in Syria tried to placate protesters with promises of reform Tuesday while bluntly warning its people to end more than a month of demonstrations, a now-familiar strategy in one of the Arab world s most repressive countries that has so far failed to blunt the most serious challenge to its 40-year rule.
Tens of thousands of Syrians have attended the funerals for protesters killed in the central city of Homs, chanting slogans demanding the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, the country's president
Antigovernment demonstrations sweeping Syria appeared to have crossed a threshold in size and scope, with protesters battling police near the heart of the capital and the protest movement uniting people from different regions, classes and religious backgrounds against the regime.
Syrian security forces have dispersed thousands of protesters marching towards central Damascus from the suburb of Douma, witnesses say. Haitham al-Maleh, an activist and lawyer, told Al Jazeera on Friday that protesters were close to Abasyeen Square when the intelligence services brought several buses carrying men with "pistols and sticks" who attacked protesters. He said those injured were taken away by medics.
Bashar al-Assad, Syria's president, has formed a new cabinet two weeks after sacking the country's government amid unprecendented protests against his rule. Al-assad has also issued a decree to release all prisoners except those with crime related records.
Syrian security forces have fired upon people in the village of Baida, near the coastal town of Baniyas in the country's northeast, injuring at least one person, witnesses tell Al Jazeera.
NICOSIA, (AFP) Syrian security forces in at least two towns prevented medics from reaching wounded protesters when clashes erupted at anti-government demonstrations last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW)
AMMAN, (Reuters) - Syria's main human rights movement said the death toll from pro-democracy protests against President Bashar al-Assad had reached 200 and urged the Arab League to impose sanctions
The Syrian regime, long a key player in the Middle East power play, has decided to fight back with full force. It seems determined to defeat the tidal wave of popular protest that smashed the regimes of Tunisia and Egypt, that is threatening rulers in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, and is now challenging state power in a dozen Syrian cities.
The army has been deployed in Syria's coastal city of Baniyas after several people were killed by men loyal to Bashar al-Assad, the president, residents have said. An eyewitness from Baniyas told Al Jazeera on Monday that the army had been deployed inside the city after initially sealing it off.
Bashar al Assad, the Syrian president, has issued a decree granting nationality to thousands of Kurds living in the eastern al-Hasaka region as part of efforts to ease resentment over nearly five decades of strict Baathist rule.
Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, insists on believing that his support for the 'resistance against Israel' distinguishes his regime from others in the region and, therefore, makes it immune to the revolutions that have brought down pro-Western presidents in Tunisia and Egypt.
They laughed when he laughed. Their hearts raced in anticipation, not over those much heralded reforms which failed to materialise - "Weren't emergency laws abolished last week anyway?' asked one - but over the excitement and grandeur of the occasion: the packed parliament, the crowds of cheering supporters and, of course, President Bashar al-Assad himself.
The inspection, scheduled in advance, comes in response to allegations of covert Syrian atomic activity; Syria denies the allegations, while the U.S. contends that further investigations must be conducted elsewhere.
Protests against Baath Party rule demanding freedoms have broken out in several Syrian cities in the north and south, including the flashpoint city of Daraa after prayers on Friday, activists have said.
Mr. Assad is a licensed ophthalmologist who studied in London and a computer nerd who likes the technological toys of the West; his wife, Asma, born in Britain to Syrian parents, was a banker at J. P. Morgan. He is a child of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the cold war. Contrary to American interests, he firmly believes Lebanon should be within Syria's sphere of influence, and he is a member of a minority Islamic sect, the Alawites, that has had a chokehold on power in Syria for decades.
In his first address to the nation after bloody protests and calls for reform, President Basher al-Assad blamed a broad conspiracy from beyond his borders on Wednesday for Syria s turmoil and offered no concessions to ease his authoritarian regime's grip on public life.
Demonstrations in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's rule threaten to destabilize Turkey's security arrangements with its neighbor to contain Kurdish rebels, while a collapse of Assad's state could prompt a regional push for Kurdish autonomy. Ankara has responded by gently nudging Damascus to accept some democratic reform, but its converging economic and geopolitical interests with Syria make this an uncomfortable task. - Jacques N Couvas (Mar 30, '11)
The regime has attempted to blame the United States and Israel for organizing the unrest, but this argument is unlikely to persuade anybody except Assad's ardent supporters. It is hard to avoid the fact that the region of Daraa, where the current round of protests started, is one of the poorest in Syria. According to a recent Jerusalem Post report, "The city is home to thousands of displaced people from eastern Syria, where up to a million people have left their homes because of a water crisis over the past six years."
Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, told Al Jazeera's Cal Perry in the capital Damascus on Sunday that the law would "absolutely" be lifted, but failed to give a timetable. The repeal of the emergency law, in place since the 1963 coup that brought the Baath Party to power, has been a key demand of protesters who have taken to the streets in recent days to demand greater political freedoms.
Even as the Obama administration defends the NATO-led air war in Libya, the latest violent clashes in Syria and Jordan are raising new alarm among senior officials who view those countries, in the heartland of the Arab world, as far more vital to American interests.
Violence erupted around Syria on Friday as troops opened fire on protesters in several cities and pro- and anti-government crowds clashed on the tense streets of the capital in the most widespread unrest in years, witnesses said.