Syrian forces make arrests sweep in stricken port city | Pakistan Today

Syrian forces make arrests sweep in stricken port city

Hundreds of Syrian security services raided homes in the port city of Latakia on Wednesday, pressing their crackdown on dissent in defiance of rising condemnation abroad, activists said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, contacted from Nicosia, said more than 700 members of the security services took part in the operation in the southern district of Ramel, arresting people on lists. “Heavy gunfire continued in most opposition neighbourhoods” overnight, the Britain-based group said.
In Jabal al-Zawya, a village in Idlib province near the border with Turkey, security forces shot dead a man standing on his balcony, it said. It said security forces out in Damascus carried out dawn raids in Rukn Eddin district, where electricity was cut off, and arrested dozens of activists. Dozens of others were arrested overnight on the outskirts of the capital.
Another protester was reportedly killed overnight in Deir Ezzor, the largest city in eastern Syria.
On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague stepped up the pressure and warned that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was “fast losing the last shreds of his legitimacy.” And US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Arab heavyweight Saudi Arabia and Syria’s neighbour Turkey to push Assad to step down.
But the head of Russia’s arms export agency, cited by the Interfax news agency, said Wednesday Moscow was continuing to supply weapons to its traditional ally Damascus. “While no sanctions are announced, while there are no orders or directions from the government, we are obliged to fulfil our contractual obligations, which we are now doing,” Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin said.
Since Sunday, 30 civilians have been killed in Latakia in a military offensive during which gunboats went into action for the first time since the start of pro-democracy revolts in mid-March, according to activists.
The official news agency SANA has denied any maritime operation and on Tuesday quoted a military official saying security forces were “hunting armed men” in Latakia districts “who opened fire on residents.”



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