Tag Archive | "protesters"

U.S. May Impose Sanctions as Clashes in Syria Continue

The administration of President Obama is getting ready to put its initial steps against President Bashar Assad and his top army officers into action. It is said that the government will impose sanctions against the Syrian leaders because of their increasingly bloody violence to stop protesters.

The Damascus regime on Monday ordered thousands of soldiers armed with snipers and backed with tanks to raid the southern city of Daraa where protesters started uprising. A report by activists said there were more than 25 people killed in the brutal shootout.

The command followed the chaotic weekend when government forces randomly fired on demonstrators attending a funeral procession. The revolt, which started five weeks ago, led to the deaths of more than 200 demonstrators and civilians.

U.S. government officials said they are preparing orders that would freeze any U.S. assets of top Syrian officials. They will be refused to travel in the United States as well.

Although imposing sanctions will not produce a dramatic effect on the Syrian officials, who apparently have only few U.S. assets, this signals a remarkable move in the administration of President Obama, which has made large efforts to create better relations with the Damascus regime.

European officials are also thinking of taking steps against President Assad’s regime. Most Syrian leaders maintain bigger investments in Europe than in the United States. Thus, travel restrictions and economic sanctions from Europe will give a more direct effect.

The Obama administration hopes its European allies will also follow their suit since moves from Britain and France are particularly important to convince President Assad to show restraint.

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Gadhafi’s Daughter Hurls Rebellious Message

Gadhafi’s daughter said Friday that the US airstrikes did not defeat them 25 years ago, they will not pull it off now. The crowd cheered for her as she said this from her father’s compound.

Aisha, Gadhafi’s daughter, pumped her fist in the air while leading her audience from the balcony of the severely damaged compound. Just a few hours earlier, NATO launched an airstrike in Tripoli.

During the NATO foreign ministers meeting, Secretary Hillary Rodham of the United States said that Gadhafi is clearly cutting his international alliance by attacking cities held by rebels. Gadhafi has held the greatest power in Libya for the past 42 years and people would love to see this stop. NATO is one with the rebel forces and would like to see Gadhafi go to end the situation in the country.

Gadhafi has a very long and distressed history with the West. Many believe that he sponsored militant groups in the 80s. Moreover, secret service of Libya is said to be responsible for the Berlin disco bombing in 1986; two American servicemen died in the incident. A little over a week later, the United States launched an air attack in Tripoli and Benghazi. The president’s Bab Aziziyah compound was one of the places that were badly damaged by the bombing. Now, it stands as a museum and a constant reminder of his relationship with the U.S.

Although a lot of protesters want Gadhafi to leave his office, many still believe in him. They gathered and cheered for Aisha as she relieved the bombing in 1986. She said that many children were killed in that incident buy the country survived. She added that Libyans are people that refuse to be defeated.

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Many Syrians Killed in Daraa

A very violent protest started in Syria last Friday. Many people were reported killed in Daraa city and a boy was slain in Latakia. The spokesman of UN, Rupert Colville, said that tear gas and live ammunition are now being used in Syria, killing no less than 37 people; two children included.

Friday’s event was marked by thousands of protesters marching toward the governor’s office where they burned a huge photo of Bashar al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, while toppling a statue of Hafez al-Assad. Just a few minutes after that, a witness said that he saw armed men on the roof of the club fronting the governor’s office, and they started firing guns on the protesters.

A political nonconformist, Aman al Aswad, said that many people were killed or wounded in the incident; however, he does not have the precise numbers. The government is yet to confirm the exact number of protesters injured during the security clashes.

Even before Friday’s incident, hundreds of thousands of people already attended a demonstration against the Syrian government. The protesters went out on the streets to support the martyrs who were killed while fighting for their dignity.

The killings and violence in Syria has drawn attention from other countries. The US government strictly condemns such cruelty imposed on the people of Syria. Human Rights Watch said Thursday that around 36 people were murdered within a 48-hour period.

President Bashar al-Assad already talked about reforms and his plans on addressing his people’s woes. All these efforts, however, are put to waste when his armed forces are killing people on the streets who want to see these plans take in to action.

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