Assad grants amnesty as Russia, Iran continue to arm regime

Published January 15th, 2012 - 12:07 GMT
Bus blast
Bus blast

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday announced a general amnesty for anti-government protesters who have committed crimes during anti-government demonstrations. The Syrian news agency "Sana," reported the Syrian leader signed a "legislative decree number 10 of 2012 for a general amnesty to the perpetrators of crimes during the recent events, from March 15, 2011 to January 15, 2012."

Note that this is not the first amnesty granted by Syrian authorities in recent times. The amnesty is one of the main demands set by the Arab League, which developed a plan to resolve the crisis in Syria.

Meanwhile, a homemade roadside bomb planted by an armed terrorist group hit a bus carrying Syrian textile workers in Idleb region. Six workers were killed and 16 were injured.

These developments come as Russia and Iran have reportedly been trying to secretly arm the Assad regime. This is indicated by the recent interceptions of arms shipments bound for Syria. It is reported that at the beginning of last week Turkey seized a shipment of weapons loaded on four trucks on their way from Iran. This is not the first time arms cargoes bound for Syria were seized. Thus, over the past year Turkish border guards prevented at least three times attempts to smuggle weapons from Iran into Syria. It is also reported that Turkey seized a shipment of weapons transported through the air from Iran.

In addition, Cyprus announced the seizure of Russian arms shipment bound for Syria. The shipment included firearms and ammunition. There were about sixty tons of weapons. 

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