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Sunday, August 07, 2011

52 more killed in Syria, Saudis withdraw ambassador

When Saudi Arabia acts tougher towards Syria than the US, you know we have a problem.

Syrian troops fired on mourners at a funeral and raided an eastern city, killing at least 50 people as Arab and international pressure against the intensifying government crackdown grew.

The king of Saudi Arabia harshly criticised the Syrian government and said he was recalling his ambassador in Damascus for consultations.

"What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia," King Abdullah said in a written statement on Monday.

"Syria should think wisely before it's too late and issue and enact reforms that are not merely promises but actual reforms," he said. "Either it chooses wisdom on its own or it will be pulled down into the depths of turmoil and loss."

The Saudi king's statement came the day after the Gulf Cooperation Council urged Syria to "end the bloodshed" as the international pressure mounts.

The 22-member Arab League, which had been silent since the uprising began, said Sunday it is "alarmed" by the situation in Syria and called for the immediate halt of all violence.

The US envoy to Damascus, Robert Ford, who returned to Syria on Thursday, also said in a US television interview on Sunday that Washington will "try to ratchet up the pressure" on President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
You think the US might ratchet up the pressure from "condemn" to "deplore"?

AFP gives details on Sunday's deaths:
Activists said security forces backed by tanks killed 42 civilians in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor and at least 10 more in the central town of Hula.

"Forty-two civilians have been killed and more than 100 wounded in Deir Ezzor by gunfire from the armed forces and security agents," Syrian League for the Defense of Human Rights head Abdel Karim Rihawi told AFP.

Rihawi said that 28 people were killed in Al-Jura neighborhood of Deir Ezzor while 14 died in Huweika district, adding that "thousands of people have fled the city heading further north."

In Hula in Homs district, at least 10 people were killed in an army assault with tanks, Rihawi said.
If you believe the Syrian SANA news agency, Syria is getting support from Arabs in the "occupied Golan":
People of the occupied Syrian Golan on Sunday held a national celebration in Beit al-Shaab in Buq'ata village to express support for the comprehensive reform process led by President Bashar al-Assad, rejecting all forms of foreign interference in Syria's affairs.

Speeches of the participating religious and social figures stressed the Golan people's loyalty to the homeland, reiterating support for Syria's stance in support of the resistance.

The participants began the celebration by observing a minute of silence for the martyrs who sacrificed themselves to preserve Syria's security then they chanted the Syrian national anthem and national slogans.

They also expressed gratitude to the Syrian army and its role in defending the homeland's stability and dignity.

The people of Golan expressed confidence that Syria would come out of the crisis stronger and enhance its prominent presence in regional and international arenas.
SANA's record for truthfulness is a bit suspect, however.