BEIRUT-One day after calls from the United States and its allies to step down, and after a pledge from Syrian President Bashar Assad to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to stop deploying military power against protesters, Assad's soldiers began firing on protesters once again.
Protesters, Friday, once again took to the streets in peaceful, but boisterous demonstrations on the day that they have dubbed, “The Promise of Victory.” They marched near Homs, Hama, and through the suburbs of Damascus as well as through other areas of the beleaguered country. They were met with gunfire, with at least twelve demonstrators killed nation-wide. There have been over 2,000 killed so far in the five month struggle to topple the Assad Regime. A U.N. report Thursday blamed the regime for torturing and executing detainees, firing on crowds of unarmed demonstrators that included children with machine guns and helicopters.
Local Coordinating Committee Activists in Aleppo report “many injuries” there but say that the anti-government movement in that area is gaining momentum.
There are reports as well of Syrian soldiers unwilling to fire upon the demonstrators, who themselves were executed for disobeying orders. One instance was in the Inkhel district of Dara, where three soldiers were shot dead today for refusal to open fire on the crowds. There are calls to refer these cases to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. These cases may be taken up by the court as early as next week.
Some in the country are saying that this latest surge of violence from the regime is directly related to the increased global pressure that the regime is facing. It is said the regime is now willing to crush the demonstrations at any cost.