Monday, April 25, 2011

Assad's Evil Tactics: Unleash Tanks & Cannons on His People

Updated 7:15 p.m. edt

The death toll in the southern Syrian city of Daraa rose to at least 25 today with many others still missing as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered heavy armor to open fire on his own people, AFP reported.

Assad also launched assaults on the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Al-Maadamiyeh.

Some Western leaders are urging the Arab League to deal directly with Syrian generals, the way the U.S. did in Egypt, to urge them to not open fire on civilians, a source revealed. Using a carrot and a stick approach, Assad and his generals could ultimately be charged with crimes against humanity, said the knowledgeable source, who spoke on the condition that his name not be published.

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad unleashed tanks, heavy artillery and automatic weapons fire on his own citizens today, killing at least 18 people and wounding countless others in the city of Daraa, where Syria's pro-democracy movement first erupted more than a month ago.

"Army units are pounding Daraa at this moment. There seems to be no end to the sounds of heavy machine gun fire and occasional mortars," Daraa resident Abu Salem told Reuters hours after the tanks rolled at dawn.

The United States condemned the attacks and threatened to up the economic sanctions imposed on Syria.

“The brutal violence used by the government of Syria against its people is completely deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. The United States is pursuing a range of possible policy options, including targeted sanctions, to respond to the crackdown and make clear that this behavior is unacceptable," said White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor. "The Syrian people’s call for freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and the ability to freely choose their leaders must be heard.”

Human rights groups put the total death toll nationwide as a result of the protests at 350 people so far.

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