April 28, 2011


Syria crackdown: hundreds resign from Ba'ath party (Katherine Marsh, 4/27/11, guardian.co.uk)

[W]hile the international community failed to condemn the violence, signs of dissent within government ranks started to grow as over 230 members of the monolithic party that has ruled Syria since 1963 announced their resignation.

"Considering the breakdown of values and emblems that we were instilled with by the party and which were destroyed at the hand of the security forces… we announce our withdrawal from the party without regret," 30 party members from the coastal city of Banias said in a letter.

They accused security forces and pro-government gunmen of opening fire at homes, mosques and churches and inciting sectarian strife between the country's Sunni majority and Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam.

The city – which sits near the Alawite's mountain heartland – has seen repeated street protests, which have been met with gunfire, raids and mass arrests by the security forces.

Around two hundred members from the southern Hauran region - which includes the besieged city of Deraa - also stood down, citing the Ba'ath party leadership's complicity with "crimes of the Syrian intelligence agencies".

Deraa, where protests against the Assad regime began six weeks ago, has been surrounded by troops for days, and residents are reportedly running out of food, water and medicine.

Gunfire and sporadic explosions were heard in the city on Wednesday night, after dozens of tanks were seen heading to the city.

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Posted by at April 28, 2011 5:55 AM

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