Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Critical Mass?

Claimed video of military cadets marching for the opposition in Aleppo in Syria on Friday

1925 GMT: The AP is now carrying a story we've been reporting this afternoon, the clashes in Cairo, Egypt:

A crowd estimated at around 10,000 people set out from downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square but was stopped from reaching the military headquarters in the eastern Abbasiyah neighborhood by a line of army barricades. Along the way, they chanted slogans against the military council's delay in implementing their demands.

Bands of men armed with knives and sticks set upon them from side roads, setting off pitched street battles in which both sides threw punches and hurled rocks. Gunfire was heard, but it was unclear who was shooting.

1919 GMT: Bahraini police harass protesters with tear gas in Maameer:

1911 GMT: The situation might be winding down in Egypt:

RT @Sandmonkey: The #abassia battle seems to be over. People are getting out now.

1901 GMT: There are reports of an escalating situation in Egypt. According to Rasha Abdulla:

AlJazeera: More than 70 protesters injured in #Abbasiya clashes #massira

An activist is also sharing this picture, reportedly showing smoke in the air after a car was lit on fire and molotov cocktails were thrown (there appears to be fire in the background as well).

1856 GMT: Al Jazeera reports on events in Homs, where a general strike has been called and thousands protested today alongside the funerals of three people killed yetsreday:

1846 GMT: An impressive video from Nuwaidrat, Bahrain (Map). Protesters marched to demand the release of detained activist Mohammed Alibovlash, but their protests met resistance.

This video was reportedly taken today in Sanabis, Bahrain:

1836 GMT: A troubling (but unconfirmed) report from an activist in Egypt (summarized and edited from Tweets by James Miller), the account starts almost two hours ago and ends just minutes ago:

Passing now underneath Ghamra bridge. Residents throwing us water bottles!

Approaching nour mosque, (and now) the road is completely blocked by soilders and tanks. Barbed wire, about 5 lines of army and military police soldiers, 7 tanks and a fire engine. They're scared shitless!

March has now come to a halt at nour mosque. I don't see molotovs...

Seems there are thugs attacking from one of the side streets... The army is relying on thugs to disperse us! People are throwing rocks from on the top of buildings. There are injured already and hysterical atmosphere. Army firing in the air, but most of the people are still standing in place. Used to this tactic by now.

Now more rock throwing coming from other side. They've trapped us. Gunshots now coming from other direction as well. There are a lot of of injured people and not enough ambulances.

At Demerdash hospital. Lots of injured coming. No doctors coming out from hospital to help.

The army and Amn markazi have appeared from the other side now. We are now cordoned from both sides, and rock throwing is still taking place from side streets.

People should take the Demerdash exit and head back to Tahrir Square. No point in continuing in battle with residents and thugs.

1756 GMT: An activist shared this picture with us. Her assessment, SCAF (the Security Council of the Armed Forces) is behind barbed wire, just like Mubarak was.

1746 GMT: Reuters is now confirming that stones have been thrown at protesters and warning shots have been fired outside the Egyptian Defense Ministry in Cairo.

Several injuries are reported, though nothing serious yet. It is also worth noting that the rumor about molotovs being thrown seems to have come from outside the country, and there is no confirmation of that level of violence.

1741 GMT: ITNNEWS has posted this video summary of yesterday's events in Syria. Some of the video is new to us, some we've already carried. One thing we did not carry, however, are the signs of looting in the midst of the violence.:

1719 GMT: Multiple activists in Egypt are reporting that thugs are throwing rocks at anti-SCAF protests that are being held there. More details to come...

1711 GMT: Yesterday, we posted a video of plain-clothed thugs and uniformed security forces storming the Amneh mosque the Seif Al-Dawla section of Aleppo after Friday prayers. Today, an activist forwarded this video to us, claiming to show plain-clothed thugs and security working together to beat a protester in the streets of Seif al-Dawla. We have no way of verifying the validity of the video. One thing to note in both videos, however, is that some of the plain-clothed men tend to dress alike. Also, the date on the camera is wrong, but it may never have been set. Still, the video is consistent with claims made by activists yesterday.

1455 GMT: James Miller takes the blog for a while...

Activists are reporting a general strike in Homs (see video below) but there are also reports that several buildings in the Bab al-Sebaa neighborhood have been burned to the ground. The neighborhood has been the site of a government crackdown, and there are many reports that tanks have repeatedly targeted the area for bombardment over the past few days.

Meanwhile, the finger pointing continues. The Syrian government is blaming the protesters for the derailment of a train (see below) but they are also saying that protesters fired rocket-propelled grenades at the military academy in Homs.

1315 GMT: Almost 30 political groups have responded to the statment of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces accusing the 6 April Movement of attempting to create strife between the army and the people.

Calling for a peaceful march to SCAF's headquarters Saturday, the group condemned an attempt to create divisions between different political forces.

The 6 April Movement denied involvement in a demonstration that marched late Friday evening from Tahrir Square to SCAF headquarters.

1215 GMT: Claimed video of shops shut and street emptied by a general strike in Horan in southern Syria:

0910 GMT: Syrian officials have said that a train carrying 400 passengers derailed on Saturday and its driver was killed when "saboteur groups" dismantled a section of a railway near Homs.

Homs governor Hassan Abdelal said the train was carrying troops and civilians and that "destiny" helped to prevent further casualties.

0900 GMT: A journalist working for Yemeni state TV, Yasser Al-Muolimi, has been seriously injured in an assassination attempt in the capital Sana'a.

Al-Muolimi is recovering in a local hospital after surgery on his legs.

The Yemeni Journalist Syndicate issued a statement condemning the attack and urging security services in the country to investigate the incident quality and bring the culprits to justice. The syndicate said the assassination attempt is a dangerous escalation against journalists and a crime targeting activists.

See also Syria Snap Analysis: Will 22 July Be Marked by History as A Turning Point?
Syria Video Special: Friday's Protests Across the Country --- Set 1
Syria Video Special: Friday's Protests Across the Country --- Set 2
Syria and Beyond: Friday's LiveBlog

0715 GMT: Two explosions were reported overnight from inside the Syrian Army War College in Homs. Heavy gunfire was heard, and ambulances were seen heading to the compound in the Al Waer district.

A resident said, “Smoke rose from inside the premises. The injured were taken to the military hospital. It looked like an operation of some sort.”

There has been no official comment.

0710 GMT: Another reminder of Friday's demonstrations in Syria, with this clip from Hama:

0630 GMT: Meanwhile, below the protest radar, two videos of skirmishes in Diraz in Bahrain:

0530 GMT: We begin this morning with a snap analysis by James Miller asking if Friday in Syria was a turning point. Having run our LiveBlog thorughout the day and evening, Miller started with the question, "It is no longer, 'Where are they demonstrating?' Where AREN'T they demonstrating." This morning, he reaches another key point of enquiry, "How can the Assad regime possibly expect to survive this level of democratic upheaval?"

I'll be a bit more cautious: there are now serious questions as to whether the regime holds authority not only in the towns, from Daraa in the south to Idlib in the northwest to Deir Ez Zor in the northeast, that sparked this uprising but also in major cities like Homs and Hama. However, President Assad and his inner circle can take away the observation that while demonstrations in the capital Damascus and the second-largest city Aleppo are notable, they are not yet "massive", and we are likely to see their response --- effectively a call on the "silent majority" in those cities to show support --- in the next days.

But that said, we did see demonstrations even in those bases of the regime. We saw security forces worried enough to beat up protesters in an Aleppo mosque and we apparently saw military cadets marching, not with the regime but with its opponents.

Another video of the scale of protester in Deir Ez Zor in the northeast:

Night-time demonstrations in the al-Qusour neighbourhood of Homs and in Idlib:

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Norway Analysis: Questions and Lessons from Friday's Attacks in Oslo and Utoeya | Main | Iran Analysis: Supreme Leader = Machiavelli? (Sadjadpour) »

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Good Web site, Preserve the good job. Many thanks.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>