Massive military deployment around southern Syrian city
Eyewitnesses conveyed late Saturday that tens of thousands of security agents and Syrian army soldiers deployed in the southern city of Dara'a, amid fears of a determination by the regime to implement strict measures against the residents. During the last few hours there are reports about shooting incidents and random raids on houses in the city. Locals claim the military and security presence is unprecedented since the start of the current wave of protests some 3 weeks ago.
This comes as the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria said Saturday that Syrian security forces killed at least 37 people during protests on Friday. It said in a statement that 30 people were killed in the town of Dara'a, 3 were killed in Homs and the same number in Harasta, a suburb of Damascus, while another dead was reported in Douma.
For its part, the Syrian Interior Ministry warned that there is "no room for complacency or tolerance in the application of the law, and maintaining security". It declared in a statement Saturday that some of the demands of the protesters received an immediate response from the Syrian leadership, which announced "a series of actions and decrees within the development and modernization process taking place in Syria."
The statement said that some people are being paid by third parties to participate in the protests and riots. The Syrian authorities have confirmed their determination to "address" the issue of armed groups firing indiscriminately on demonstrators and security forces.