News / Middle East

3 Killed After Syrian Forces Fire on Protesters

Ben Gilbert

At least three people are dead as tens of thousands of anti-government protesters filled the streets of several cities on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

Anti government protesters continue to take to the streets in Syria.  

The Syrian government’s security forces continue to arrest and use force in an attempt to stop them.  

Calls for the death of President Bashar Assad this Friday replaced calls for his removal from power.

The United Nations estimates that government security forces have killed at least 1,200 mostly unarmed civilians since the uprising began in March.   The Assad government says it’s fighting armed gangs and Islamic extremists who are bankrolled by western governments.

Mr. Assad told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that military operations ended on August 17  - a  claim challenged by many, including the organization, Human Rights Watch.  

"The Syrian authorities somehow still believe that killing your own people, sending tanks into Syrian cities can end the situation.  They are committing massive human rights violations," said Nadim Houry, the director of the organization’s Beirut office.  

The United Nations security council met again this week to discuss a possible resolution against Syria, but veto wielding member states China and Russia did not attend the session.   

The United States has pushed for a tougher stance from the security council, but long time Syrian ally, Russia, Syria's largest  arms supplier, has not indicated whether it will support that.   

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Syria’s oil, banking and telecommunications sectors.

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