Posted by: mulrickillion | August 12, 2011

Assad Takes On Another Rebel City: Will It Fight Back?

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Deir al-Zour, Aug. 8, 2011. Syrian tanks stand deployed at a bridge in Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria. An assault on the city on Sunday, Aug. 7, killed dozens, activists and residents say, in the second crackdown on protesters by Syrian forces in two weeks. AFP / Getty Images.

By Oliver Holmes, Time, Aug 9, 2011 — The world’s attention has focused on the Syrian city of Hama, the scene of a bloody crackdown by President Bashir Assad’s army against peaceful protesters that left at least 200 dead. But on Sunday, Aug. 7, the Syrian army launched a major assault on Deir al-Zor, in a heavily Sunni Muslim tribal area near the Iraqi border, killing dozens after a siege of several days. With most journalists barred from entering the country, it is almost impossible to verify witness statements, but the reports that are filtering out of the city are disturbing. At 2 a.m. Sunday morning, residents and activists say, at least 200 tanks entered the city, crushing makeshift civilian barricades that had been erected to keep the army out. Buildings were shelled, and snipers positioned themselves on rooftops. The offensive reportedly continued on Monday.

Reached by phone, Mazen, a doctor and human-rights activist, says he toured the city and found the streets "full of bodies." "There were wounded people who were screaming, and missiles were zooming overhead," he says. "The government has shut down the hospitals, so we are using mosques and private homes as medical centers. But we can’t help everyone. . . .

Unrest in Syria: Assad Sends Troops into Deir al-Zor – TIME

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