Turmoil in Syria

UN to Assad: Stop Military Force Against Civilians Now

Voice of America News reports: “United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to immediately stop using military force against civilians taking part in a four-month-old anti-government uprising.

The U.N. press office says Mr. Ban conveyed the message in a rare telephone call with the Syrian president on Saturday. It says the U.N. Secretary-General also expressed ‘strong concern’ at the mounting violence and death toll in the Syrian uprising in recent days.

The U.N. statement says Mr. Assad made a reference in the conversation to a ‘large number of lives lost’ among Syrian security forces and police trying to crush the revolt. It says Mr. Ban responded by condemning violence against both civilians and security forces in Syria…” (Senator McCain in his recent visit called Assad, the leader of Syria, a bloody butcher. This is the Assad that Rick Warren praised and promoted on Islamic radio and television while in Syria. Mixing politics and religion leads to error. Let’s proclaim and promote Jesus Mr. Warren – Philippians 2:10, 11. See the next four reports.)

Assad: Syria target of foreign conspiracy

Haaretz reports: “Syrian President Bashar Assad said his country is capable of foiling any conspiracy to undermine its national unity, the state-run news agency SANA reported early Monday.

‘Syria is capable of foiling the new chapter in the conspiracy through the awareness of its people and national unity,’ Assad said in a speech published in the People’s Army Magazine to mark the 66th anniversary of the Syrian Arab Army.

SANA quoted Assad as saying that ‘conspiracies make us stronger, and pressure causes it to adhere more to our standards and rights that cannot be liquidated or marginalized.’

The government has blamed the five-month uprising in Syria on ‘armed gangs’ working for some Arab and Western countries.

‘The army was a model of commitment to the nation’s causes and a defender of its rights, proving to be an impregnable fortress foiling the dreams and suspect plans of enemies,’ the Syrian president said.

Assad’s comments came a few hours after the army stormed the central city of Hama and other villages across the country which resulted in 136 deaths, including 97 in Hama…”

‘Dozens killed in Hama as Syrian tanks, snipers deployed’

The Jerusalem Post reports: “Dozens of people were killed in the northeastern Syrian city of Hama, a city that has seen some of the most violent elements of President Bashar Assad’s bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters, pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya quoted human rights activists as saying.

Snipers were seen on the roofs of buildings, activists told Al Arabiya, and tanks were deployed in various districts of the city.

…Armed forces shot dead four people near Damascus and in southern Syria after nightly Ramadan prayers, activists said, as the United States sharpened criticism of the Assad regime’s fierce crackdown against anti-government protesters.

Three protesters were killed and at least ten wounded in the town of Nawa near Deraa, cradle of the five-month uprising against 41 years of Assad family rule, according to Abdullah Abazeid of the Syrian Revolution Coordinating Committees.

The Local Coordination Committees, another activist organization, said one more person was killed in the Damascus suburb of Qadam when four buses full of security police surrounded a demonstration there and fired at the crowd.

The reports come amid an ongoing military siege of the central city of Hama in which activists say some 200 people have been killed in recent days. The city – where in 1982 Assad’s father Hafez waged a ruthless counter-insurrection against the Muslim Brotherhood that killed tens of thousands – has been virtually snuffed out, with water and electricity cut off and residents unable to connect with the outside world.

Borzou Daragahi, a Middle East correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, wrote on Twitter that ‘they’re hiding something ugly in Hama.’ You ‘don’t cut off phones, internet, power, water, roads to plant roses,’ he wrote…”

Syrian army ‘resumes shelling Deir al-Zour’

BBC News reports: “The Syrian army is shelling the eastern city of Deir al-Zour for a second day, reports say, as regional pressure mounts on President Bashar al-Assad.

Activists and residents said explosions and gunfire resumed and that troops backed by tanks had re-entered the city’s eastern side.

At least 50 people died after the army launched a pre-dawn assault.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah said the violence against civilian protesters in Syria was unacceptable.

He said the Mr. Assad’s government had to implement real reforms and stop what he called the ‘death machine’ before it was too late.

Turkey and the Arab League earlier made similar appeals while Jordan has called for dialogue between the government and protesters.

Human rights activists say at least 1,700 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands arrested since the uprising began in mid-March. More than 300 people are believed to have died in the past week alone…”

Saudi Arabia Recalls Ambassador to Syria

Voice of America News reports: “Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador to Syria as the international community ramps up pressure on the Syrian government to end its crackdown on opposition protesters.

Saudi King Abdullah issued a statement urging Syria to end the bloodshed. He said the situation is not in accord with religion, values or ethics.

The Saudi king’s message follows similar statements by the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which is made up of six Arab states, including Saudi Arabia. Up to this point, Arab leaders had been largely silent on the issue…” (The Saudi King seems to have a better grasp on Assad’s irreligious actions than Rick Warren who has forgotten one of God’s commandments – “Thou shalt not kill” – Exodus 20:13.)

Moscow warns against interference in Syrian conflict

RIA Novosti reports: “The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned against outside interference in the Syrian conflict, saying the country’s citizens should solve their problems themselves.

‘The settlement in this country should be carried out by the Syrians themselves without outside interference and should be based on an all-Syria dialogue, which is the only way to resolve the conflict,’ the ministry said in a statement.

Moscow’s stance was voiced after French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said earlier on Thursday that the UN Security Council may take a tougher stance on Syria if the ruling regime fails to halt its deadly crackdown on protesters.

Juppe’s comments came as Syrian troops and tanks continued their assault on the city of Hama, a center of opposition protest, and just hours after the Security Council adopted a statement condemning the ‘widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities.’…” (Syria will undoubtedly unite with Russia during the Russian – Arab alliance against Israel – Ezekiel 38:1, 2, 8, 16. When she does, Isaiah 17:1 warns that “Damascus [Syria] shall become a ruinous heap.“)