Report: Tanks deployed at the entrances of Damascus
Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper quoted eyewitnesses as saying that armored vehicles belonging to the Syrian Republican Guard were deployed at the entrances of Damascus, apparently in preparation to suppress possible protests demanding the fall of President Bashar al-Assad regime. The London-based newspaper quoted witnesses as saying by telephone that the armored vehicles belonging to the Republican Guard had been queuing at the entrances of Damascus and that security siege was imposed on the cities of Deir al-Zour, Deraa, Raqqa and Qamishli.
Witnesses spoke about the use of live bullets in Damascus and Aleppo. They said they had heard the sounds of sporadic gunfire in the area of al Muhajirin and Hay al Maydan. Witnesses also confirmed the existence of a tight security control in the Damascus hospital in order to identify the wounded. They also spoke about clashes in the vicinity of the Citadel of Aleppo.
On Wednesday, Syrian security forces dispersed a demonstration of 150 people gathered in downtown Damascus.
Since the beginning of the popular protest wave in the Arab world, the Syrian authorities have intensified their campaign against opposition activists and arrested several of them, including activists in the social networking websites. It is believed that there are about 4000 political prisoners who are being held without a trial in Syria. They include Kurds, Islamists and secular figures. There are also hundreds of detainees who were tried on charges of undermining public security and social order.