Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: More Opposition, in More Places

One of Saturday's marches in the Bahraini capital Manama, broken up by police with tear gas and sound grenades (see 1745 GMT)

See also Saudi Opinion: Hamza Kashgari, "Blasphemy", and the Two Sides of Islam
Egypt Anniversary Opinion: J'Accuse the Military Rulers and Muslim Brotherhood
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests Amidst the Regime's Assault?

2100 GMT: Anti-Assad regime protest in Trafalgar Square, London.

2030 GMT: Two American women accused of aiding anti-government activists deported from Bahrain

2020 GMT: Higher Revolutionary Council of Syria says that the death toll rises to 67 across the country and the army tries to storm Baba Amro district in Homs.

2000 GMT: It is claimed by Al Arabiya English that Saadi Qaddafi is arrested in Niger.

1925 GMT: According to CNN, the United States is increasing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations over Syria. A senior official says: "There are media reports but we also want to verify exactly what is happening."

1900 GMT: Exchange of fire between two rival factions, the Sunni Muslims and the Alawite sect in Lebanon leaves one from each party dead and 12 wounded. 

1845 GMT: Syrian forces have entered the besieged town of Zabadani. Kamal al-Labwani, the opposition leader in exile, says this is a clear violation of the agreement reached between parties. Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports that the opposition statement saying they agreed to the army's entry to avoid further bloodshed but "the town didn't fall!"  

1800 GMT: Police arrest protesters in the Bahraini capital Manama today:

1730 GMT: Egyptian authorities have arrested an Australian journalist and an American student, claiming they tried to bribe people to join a strike.

The US student, Aliya Alwi,tweeted that both she and freelance journalist Austin Mackell were told they will be transferred to a military intelligence office: “Report against us filed now. Many witnesses saw us ‘offering money to youth to vandalize and cause chaos’.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, discussed “a wide range of issues related to the long-standing security relationship between our two countries, including the issue involving US NGOs” with the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

1700 GMT: Activists say today's death toll in Syria is now 46, including 20 in Homs.

1645 GMT: In Bahrain, police have fired tear gas and sound grenades to break up anti-regime protests, as marchers tried to march Pearl Roundabout, the symbol centre of the demonstrations from last February.

Police also detained two US activists. An official said they would be deported for giving false information on their entry into the country.

Groups of several hundred activists gathered at different points around the old market district in the capital. "To the roundabout, to the roundabout," chanted protesters, led by prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab. Police using megaphones warned the crowd that the march was unauthorised and then fired tear gas and sound grenades.

Riot police seized the two Americans, Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath, part of a team called Witness Bahrain Police also fired sound bombs to break up a crowd of women protesters in an altercation over the arrest of female activists.

Rajab said the protests would continue. "This proves to everybody that people's spirit is still alive and coming back, and we're not going to go away."

1600 GMT: From inside a house in Alkorah, Deir al-Zour. 

1555 GMT: Machine gun fires and rockets in Hama.

1550 GMT: Mass protests against the Assad regime in the town of Mezzef, close to Damascus.

1545 GMT: Another video clip reportedly coming from Baba Amro, Homs, showing an empty street left with fire, blood and a bicycle. 

1535 GMT: Demonstration in Idlib following the funeral of Haitham Alaa-Adeen who was killed by security forces in Homs. 

1520 GMT: New members of the Free Syrian Army.

1515 GMT: After similar measures taken by Tunisia and Libya against Syrian diplomats, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Damascus said that Syria had told the two North African countries to close their embassies in Damascus within 72 hours.

1500 GMT: This video clip is reportedly taken today from Baba Amro town of Homs, showing houses and a water tank hit by security forces.

1455 GMT: Sadiq al-Ahmar, a sheikh and an important figure of the Hashid Tribal Confederation headed a meeting of sheikhs from the governorates of Mahwit, Sanaa, Saada, and Yarim in Sanaa. With regards to the voting on February 21, he said: "Yes, I will go. All of us, we must go, to fail the regime and to forget about Ali Abdullah Saleh."

1445 GMT: It is showing a large funeral procession for a child named Omar Ibrahim in al-Dumeir, outside Damascus.

1440 GMT: This video clip is showing a small tank firing its guns randomly, reportedly in the streets of Douma, just outside Damascus. 

1410 GMT: It is reported that this large crowd gathered in Hama, protesting the President Bashar Assad and Russia. The crowd is repeating, probably an imam's prayers. 

1400 GMT: According to Iraq's Deputy Interior Minister, Adnan al-Assadi, "jihadists" and weapons are moving from Iraq to Syria. He said: "We have intelligence information that a number of Iraqi jihadists went to Syria and weapons smuggling is still ongoing."

1225 GMT: Another mass demonstration, in Hiyalin town of Hama. 

1220 GMT: These two video clips are reportedly showing crowds in Idlib and in Hama respectively.  

1200 GMT: It is reportedly the members of the Free Syrian Army fighting and carrying shahadah flags.

1145 GMT: The march of students in Yemen is reportedly taking place in Taiz. 

1140 GMT: This video is showing a tank firing as Friday prayers take place in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs.

1115 GMT: Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Ankara will request from the United Nations for a humanitarian operation to help Syrians suffering a "humanitarian tragedy."

He said: "I gave instructions today to lodge a request with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva on the subject of humanitarian aid. Turkey is launching an initiative at the UN office in Geneva to put in place a flow of humanitarian aid towards Syria."

1100 GMT:  Syria's state-run news agency, SANAA, says three gunmen opened fire at Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli as he left his home in the Damascus neighborhood of Rukn-Eddine. 

The significance of this assassination is that it's the first killing of a high military officer in the Syrian capital since the uprising began in March. Indeed, it is a clear message to the regime that the violence can be spread to the heart of Damascus. 

The Head of Egypt's ruling military council Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi is set to meet the chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. They are expected to discuss military ties and the criminal charges against the US NGO workers. 

At least four people, including a 55-year old woman, killed in the Syrian city of Homs, according to an activist.

Today is also the anniversary of the uprising in Yemen against President Saleh. People are gathering in Taiz, the second-largest city.


Ali Yenidunya takes over the Live Coverage.

Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) have announced that they will not "bow to threats, nor succumb to pressures, nor accept ultimatums". However, on the anniversary of the fall of President Mubarak as the President of the country, protesters are calling for a nationwide strike today in a Day of Disobedience.

A mass protest in Syria on Friday, atop a giant flag of the country painted on the ground, "Here humanity stumbled":

Friday was a busy, and bloody, day in Syria. While the big news on the international front may have been the two bomb blasts in Aleppo or the continued violence in Homs, other important stories were written elsewhere. Aleppo saw widespread protests, often dispersed by gunfire. Syria's second-largest city is often considered a stronghold of regime support, but at the end of the day, according to some reports, 13 protesters were dead and more than 70 wounded.

Nationwide, the Local Coordinating Committees of Syria had confirmed that at least 64 people had died nationwide, "21 of the martyrs were in Homs, 17 martyrs in the Damascus Suburbs (Zabadany, Madaya, Douma and Dumeir), 13 martyrs in Aleppo, 6 martyrs in Daraa, 2 martyrs in each of Hama, Damascus and Deir Ezzor in addition to one martyr in Idlib." This does not count the 28 who were killed by the blasts in Aleppo, nor the soldiers who likely died in counterattacks made by the Free Syrian Army. Beyond the numbers, there are reports into the night of expanding battles between defectors near Damascus (in Douma and Irbeen), in Deir Ez Zor, and in Idlib province (Ma'arrat al Numan, Khan Sheikoun, and Jabal al Zawiya).

But perhaps the biggest news is that, according to our own observations, and according to the Local Coordinating Committees, the scope of the peaceful demonstrations continues to expand:

The number of confirmed demonstrations this Friday rose to 655, the province of Idlib had the most demonstrations where 148 demonstrations occured, followed by Aleppo where, for the first time, 109 demonstrations took place, this was followed by Hama where 84 demonstrations took place. In Daraa 61 demonstrations were staged followed 60 demos in Homs, and then by 45 demonstrations in Deir Ezzor, and 40 demonstrations in each of Damascus and the Damascus Suburbs.

Also confirmed were 9 demonstration in Hasakeh, 7 in Tartous and 4 in Raqqa.

In regards to the points that demonstrated, the final number in all the Syrian territory was 513. The largest of them was also in the province of Idlib, where demonstrations occured at 144 points, followed by Aleppo at 83 points and Hama at 80. In Daraa demonstrations occured at 50 points, and in Homs, 47 points demonstrated while in Deir Ezzor 34 demonstrated. In the Damascus suburbs, demonstrations at 30 different points were recorded, followed by 22 demonstrating points in Damascus.

Also confirmed were 10 points in Lattakia, 8 in Hasakeh, 3 in Tartous and two in Raqaa. This Friday was distinguished by the participation of 10 new points in demonstration, among them the Shiite village of Shallagh in the province of Idlib which chanted for national unity and the topple of the regime

The opposition has not been crushed by events of the last two weeks. The Assad regime can shell all it wishes, but if its forces cannot regain control, and if its only resort is to bombardment and the levelling, then there is no way for the President to maintain control of a Syria where his support is eroding, an insurrection is arming, and an economy is declining.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« James Miller speaks to Al Jazeera about the Free Syrian Army | Main | The Latest from Iran (11 February): Watching the Revolution's Anniversary »

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>