News / Middle East

Syrian Security Forces Fire on Opposition Protesters

Syrian Security Forces Fire on Opposition Protesters
Syrian Security Forces Fire on Opposition Protesters

Syrian security forces have opened fire on anti-government demonstrators as activists appealed for "international protection" on Friday.

Activists say at least one person was killed after forces moved in with live ammunition and tear gas to break up opposition rallies that took place in areas that include Damascus suburbs and the flashpoint city of Homs.

Meanwhile, Russia has indicated it may be willing to consider a U.N. Security Council resolution that sends a "strong message" to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow may be open to a Security Council resolution that sends Assad a "strong message," but only if it also addresses anti-government protesters.

He told Euronews television on Thursday that the Syrian government's "disproportionate use of force" and "high toll of casualties" are unacceptable.

But he also expressed concern at the actions of anti-Assad protesters, saying some of them should be considered "terrorists."

Russia has previously opposed attempts by Western governments to pass a U.N. Security resolution against Assad, instead preferring their own draft urging Syria to implement democratic reforms.

On Friday, Syrian opposition leader Ammar Qurabi expressed disappointment at Russia's lack of support. Qurabi said he expects Russia to play a "more active and positive role in regulating the political situation in Syria."

Qurabi and a delegation of Syrian opposition leaders were in Moscow Friday visiting with Russian envoy Mikhail Margelov. Mr. Margelov plans to meet with an aide to Assad on Monday.

On Thursday, Syria's crackdown on anti-government protesters continued when troops raided a residence in the northwestern village of Ibleen, killing three military defectors.

The United Nations estimates 2,200 people have been killed since March after Assad launched the crackdown on dissent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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