Reuters - Syria faces growing economic sanctions and condemnation over what the United Nations calls "gross human rights violations," but President Bashar al-Assad shows no sign of buckling under pressure to end his military crackdown on popular unrest.
BEIRUT — In another blow to President Bashar Assad, his commander of military police defected.
The defector, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, is one of the most senior members of Assad’s inner circle to join the opposition during the 21-month-old uprising against authoritarian rule. He appeared in a video aired on Al-Arabiya TV late Tuesday saying the army has been turned into a gang to kill and destroy.
Reuters - The main U.N. human rights forum condemned Syria's crackdown on protests on Friday and Royal Dutch Shell shut down oil work there because of EU sanctions, signs of the deepening isolation of President Bashar al-Assad.
Reuters - Swiss oil traders Vitol and Trafigura are supplying fuel to Syria, dealers said Friday, despite a bloody military crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's security forces against protesters that has cost hundreds of lives.
Sen. John Kerry has held up Syria as a country that could bring peace and stability to the Mideast and predicted that the now-disgraced government of President Bashar Assad would pursue a legitimate relationship with the United States. Those assertions are certain to draw scrutiny at Kerry’s confirmation hearing to be secretary of state as Assad’s brutal crackdown has plunged his country into civil war.
Western leaders condemned Damascus after Syrian forces shot dead at least 72 people in one of the bloodiest days of a month-long uprising after thousands had taken part in "Good Friday" protests.The deaths signalled no let-up from President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces used live ammunition and tear gas against demonstrators in several towns and cities nationwide, witnesses and activists told AFP by telephone.The bloodshed came amid street clashes one day after Assad scrapped decades of emergency rule and as demonstrators gathered to test long-sought freedoms.