A march in Kafranbel, including members of the Free Syrian Army, in northwest Syria on Sunday
2215 GMT: More impressive video from Bab al Dreib, Homs - the fighters in the foreground are with the Free Syrian Army, and they are attempting to capture a hospital nearby. We're told by sources that by the end of the day, the FSA controlled the hospital and another checkpoint nearby:
2203 GMT: An EA correspondent in Bahrain sends us this video of the candle-lit vigil for Mohammed Ebrahim Yaghoob, the latest child to be killed in the uprising, that was held tonight in Mehaza village (see update at 2035 GMT):
The CFDPC also posted this video, reportedly showing protests in the Mezzeh district of Damascus:
2137 GMT: The LCCS now report that 100 people have been killed today by security, "among them are 8 children and a woman. 76 people were martyred in Homs, among them are two families, one in Karam Zeitoun and the other in Rasta. 15 martyrs in Daraa, 8 of them were corpses found in Nawa in Daraa. 6 martyrs in the Damascus Suburbs and 2 martyrs in Idlib and a martyr in Hasakah."
2130 GMT" According to a translation provided by an excellent source, this man is a captain in the Khaled bin AlWaleed brigade in Homs. He describes a major battle in the Bab al Dreib district, and claims that the Free Syrian Army soldiers captured a BMP vehicle, destroyed a T-72 tank and a BRDM recon vehicle, and will continue the fight tomorrow. He also reported the formation of a new brigade, "The Grandchildren of Khaled bin AlWaleed."
2113 GMT: More dramatic video from Syria - according to activists, the FSA destroyed a tank in the Bab Tadmor district of Homs:
2042 GMT: A shocking escalation in Syria. According to the Local Coordinating Committees, 95 people have been killed by security forces today, "among them are 8 children and a woman. 72 people were martyred in Homs, among them are two families, one in Karam Zeitoun and the other in Rasta. 15 martyrs in Daraa, 8 of them were corpses found in Nawa in Daraa. 6 martyrs in the Damascus Suburbs and 2 martyrs in Idlib/"
We've been posting video and reports all day of a savage military onslaught against the city of Homs, but the report that 72 have died there is still shocking. However, looking beyond these numbers, there were also many deaths in Daraa and the Damascus suburbs.
According to the LCCS, 8 of those bodies were found in Nawa, completely burned and left in the street. The security forces removed the bodies, which could not be identified.
2035 GMT: It has been another busy day for Bahrain as well. According to activist Zainab Alkhawaja, earlier today activists gathered outside Jaw prison, where her father is being held, in AbuSaiba. Riot police were quickly dispatched to the area, and teargas was fire. Zainab also claims that some of the teargas was shot inside the prison, where as many as 250 prisoners had gone on hunger strike. Alkhawaha claims that some prisoners were beaten, and others were moved to solitary confinement.
At this time, it is not possible to confirm these reports.
While these protesters claim to have remained peaceful, others seem to have retaliated. This video was reportedly taken in Sitra. Activists claim that a protest was attacked by police, and the youth responded by attacking. At least one protester was injured. No word on whether police were also injured:
At yet another protest elsewhere this evening, an EA correspondent reports from Bahrain:
On my way to attend a candle-light march in Sitra, Sefala village. We are planning to fly 63 light balloons, the same as the number of martyrs...
Sometime later, EA's correspondent reported that the march had been disrupted by police:
We got attacked with teargas and stun grenades before we started in Sefala village.
So we have regrouped in Mehaza village now. The march just started with protesters chanting, "down, down, Hamad."
The young organizers came holding... candles and started distributing the candles to protesters before we started marching. While others look for police in case they decide to attack, we are marching inside the village roads. The march is very peacefully and protesters are saying sad slogans in the memory of the martyrs. While we walk and chant I saw a small group of kids writing "DOWN WITH HAMAD" using the candles. [Protesters chanted] "Oh world hear us we will not bow."
The march completed peacefully, then we lighted the balloons - 63 balloons representing the martyrs.
An opposition Facebook page posts photos of one of the "balloons."
Also, other activists share this video, reportedly showing them arch tonight in Mehaza village:
The next two videos were reportedly taken in the Bab Dreib district, where the FSA reportedly launched an offensive in order to take control of a hospital. Security forces have taken over hospitals in many cities, arresting wounded protesters or defectors, and prioritizing the treatment of wounded security forces. The opposition, for its part, has had to treat its wounded in makeshift field hospitals.
Similar operations were reported today in Hama, and on Friday in Qusair, Homs:
1848 GMT: We've posted a rare video,a report from CNN's Arwa Damon who attended a night protest in Kafer Souseh and reports about the daily game of cat and mouse between the regime's security forces and the protesters living in the shadows of the Assad government.
1835 GMT: The death toll in Syria has risen sharply again today, as the Local Coordinating Committees are now reporting that 60 have been killed by security forces, "including 8 children and a woman. 46 martyrs in Homs, seven martyrs in Daraa, five martyrs in Damascus suburbs, and two martyrs in Idlib."
Among the latest reports, the LCCS posts a shockingly disturbing video that confirms a terrible rumor we've been hearing all day, that another entire family has been killed in the Karm al Zeitoun district of Homs, the second such event in the last 4 days.
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the escalation of the Syrian regime’s violent and brutal attacks on its own people. In the past few days we have seen intensified Syrian security operations all around the country which have killed hundreds of civilians. The government has shelled civilian areas with mortars and tank fire and brought down whole buildings on top of their occupants. The violence has escalated to the point that the Arab League has had to suspend its monitoring mission. The regime has failed to meet its commitments to the Arab League to halt its acts of violence, withdraw its military forces from residential areas, allow journalists and monitors to operate freely and release prisoners arrested because of the current unrest.
The Security Council must act and make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security. The violence must end, so that a new period of democratic transition can begin.
Tomorrow, I will attend a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria where the international community should send a clear message of support to the Syrian people: we stand with you. The Arab League is backing a resolution that calls on the international community to support its ongoing efforts, because the status quo is unsustainable. The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region.
Though the statement is not that explicit, this kind of language represents another escalation in rhetoric, one that could eventually open the door for the US to call for international intervention if the Assad regime fails to comply with efforts being made by the Arab League. This statement also places a large amount of pressure on Russia, which is trying to prevent further action against its Syrian ally.
1815 GMT: Back from a quick break to find that the violence in Syria has not slowed at all. There are reports of shelling in Homs, particularly in the Karm Al-Zaitoun neighborhood and Al-Nazeheen districts. Electricity is reportedly cut in Qusair, and shelling has begun. Airplanes are also reported overhead.
In Rankous, north of Damascus, the news has not gotten any better, according to the LCCS:
Continuous heavy shelling and gunfire around the town accompanied by detention raids and searches of homes, and the burning of the houses under the protection of military armored vehicles
Turning to Idlib, LCCS posts this video from Saraqeb:
Add this to a scattering of other reports from Homs, Idlib, and around Damascus, and it is clear that it is going to be a long night, following a long day, for many in Syria.
1646 GMT: Night has fallen, but battles continue to rage, especially in Homs where at least 33 people have already died. This video, given to us by a source, shows the Karam al-Zeitoun district of Homs, just one hour ago. Notice the large flashes of explosions, and the tracer round that crosses the screen at one point:
1635 GMT: The LCCS is now reporting that 47 have been killed by security forces so far today, "including 6 children and a woman. 33 martyrs in Homs, seven martyrs in Daraa, five martyrs in Damascus suburbs, and two martyrs in Idlib."
In an earlier report, they posted videos of some of the many protests, and some of the incidents of violence, from across the countryside today.
Protests, and violence, have been very widespread.
1626 GMT: An activist translates a report from a Facebook page associated with the Free Syrian Army, claiming that the insurgent forces had also struck a significant blow to the regular army near Rankous:
The local #FSA battalion in #Rankous claims the destruction of 7 tanks, 4 armored vehicles & the capture of 7 officers
While we cannot confirm this report from the FSA, EA sources are reporting that the situation inside the city is far more dire. According to residents, Assad troops are currently inside the center of the city, and have full control of the area. Videos over the last few days showed a city surrounded by tanks, and reports of shelling have been coming in all morning.
1610 GMT: The LCCS confirms some information that EA has been sitting on, than many people have died in a building collapse in Homs after it was shelled by government forces today:
Seven people were martyred as a result of a building collapse when the regime's security forces targeted, with two artillery shells, the minaret of the Soufi Mosque in Bab Al-Turkman
Dozens of videos show burn marks on houses where shells have landed, bullet holes in cars, and the remnants of shells in the streets. The city has been extremely hard hit, and nearly every major neighborhood, from the north to the south, is reporting a major military attack today.
1555 GMT: While the opposition seems to have scored a significant victory in al Rastan, to the north of Homs, in the city of Homs the news is very different. This video was reportedly taken on Kaab al-Ahbar street in Bab Dreib:
And this was the scene in Baba Amr:
1542 GMT: Anothe dramatic video of a tank exploding in al Rastan, Homs. We can't say with 100% certainty, but it appears that all three tanks are different tanks. If so, this means that we have video confirmation of 3 tanks exploding, and the Free Syrian Army reports that they destroyed 9 tanks today:
1532 GMT: Two more videos from al Rastan (see update at 1505 GMT) - Below, we see another angle of a tank that appears to have been destroyed (it's hard to tell if it's the same tank, but we believe it is a different tank). At the end of the video a second tank enters the frame. Also, a second video shows gunfire, and blood, in the street, as the amount of damage quickly becomes obvious:
"We have not received any offer like that officially and I think, if such an offer exists, it will be no more than an attempt to influence the (U.N.) Security Council. But I say clearly that our position has not changed and it is that there is no dialogue with (President Bashar al-Assad)," Abdel Baset Seda, a member of the Syrian council's executive committee, told Reuters.
This does not come as a shock to EA's writers. After all, the demands of the opposition are clearly spelled out in about 90% of the videos we've seen since March - the people want the fall of the regime and the execution of the president.
1505 GMT: The Free Syrian Army scores a direct hit - The LCCS has posted this information, along with a video that appears to back it up, that a Syrian tank has been destroyed in the city of al Rastan, Homs:
Homs: Rastan: The Commander of the Martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Ashtar Battalion in Rastan informed the LCC today that the battalion succesfully conducted an operation that resulted in the explosion of nine regime-owned tanks and the burning down of the Political Security headquarters building.
1446 GMT: According to the Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre:
At least 39 martyrs have been reported today so far, mostly in Damascus and Homs. In Damascus, fighting continues in the eastern suburbs, while in Homs there are reports of a new slaughter of an entire family by the regime's gangs in Karam al-Zeitoun. Meanwhile, in Rastan north of Homs heavy fighting continues for a 3rd day.
They also post this video, showing the skyline over the Damascus suburb of Kafer Batna, east-south-east of the center of the capital. There are multiple reports of fighting in that area. Also, Kafer Batna is further south than most of the fighting that has been raging since the middle of last week. This suggests that the FSA may be trying to encircle the city:
1433 GMT: James Miller takes over today's live coverage - time to catch up.
There have been several events such as this in the area around Homs, and there appears to be some confusion over who is behind them, however. Many members of the opposition have repeatedly blamed the government, but some have suggested that the al-Farouk brigade of the Free Syrian Army is behind the attacks.
0915 GMT: A Syrian tank fires repeatedly into the town of Rankous. Activists said more than 30 people in the town died this weekend, as the regime tried to dislodge defecting troops.
0730 GMT: EA sources in Bahrain report that security forces raided at least 13 houses in Bani Jamra overnight.
Police install security cameras at the entrance to Diraz village:
The regime's Bahrain News Agency outlines new security measures, including up to 15 years for attacks on police officers and authorisation to forces to use tear gas, sound grenades, and rubber bullets --- the Minister of Interior explains the necessity:
Meanwhile, Bahrain's regime-linked Gulf Daily News worries that almost 1/3 of the 90 shops in the old Gold Market have been shut since protests began last February.
Eleven staff of the the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute have been barred from leaving the country.
The NDI, IRI, and Freedom House were among NGOs raided in December, accused by Egyptian authorities of handling foreign funds inappropriately.
Ashour said uniformed police have been dispatched to some facilities where former insurgents are holding people accused of loyalty to deposed ruler Muammar Qaddafi.
According to the U.N., former insurgents groups are holding as many as 8,000 prisoners in 60 detention centres around the country.
The step comes after Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Friday, “There’s torture, extrajudicial executions, rape of both men and women.”
Doctors Without Borders suspended its work in prisons in Misurata, Libya's third-largest city, on Thursday because it said torture was so rampant that some detainees were brought for care only to make them fit for further interrogation and abuse.
Amnesty International said Thursday it had recorded widespread prisoner mistreatment in other cities that led to the deaths of several inmates.
0555 GMT: As on Saturday, dozens of deaths in Syria on Sunday --- activists said at least 66 people were slain in fighting --- told a story.
On Saturday, the narrative was of the opposition taking control of some suburbs of Damascus. Yesterday, it was of the regime trying to take them back. There were clashes and shelling, in areas such as Saqba and Ghouta, as President Assad's military tried to move in tanks and troops.
This morning, the forces regained control of Ghouta. An activist said, "The Free Syrian Army has made a tactical withdrawal. Regime forces have re-occupied the suburbs and started making house-to-house arrests."
Activists said tanks rolled into Ghouta, with frightened residents locking themselves in their homes.
Elsewhere, insurgents appeared to claim another town. Video showed a march and triumphant fighters in the main square in Kafranbel, a mountain town of 25,000 people in the northwest.