Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Syrian army launches an assault against Hama

The chariots of the Syrian army entered the night of Saturday 30 and Sunday, July 31 in Hama, one of the main centers of the protest movement against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The balance sheet remains uncertain, journalists are still not allowed to go there. According to residents contacted by telephone by at least seventeen civilians were killed in the assault.

The state was in turn forty-five dead, according to a report release by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH). "The tanks are attacking us from four different directions. Their guns shoot blindly destroy tanks and barricades in the streets by residents," testified a doctor preserving his anonymity for fear of reprisals.

At least fourteen bodies were counted at the hospital Badr where fifty-one injuries were also admitted, he said, adding that the hospital lacked blood for transfusions. The army tanks surrounded Al-Horani, another hospital in the city where three bodies and several injuries were reported, he added.

"The record is heavy, there are bodies in the streets that have not yet been collected," said another resident, adding that snipers had taken up positions on the roofs of the main prison in the city and on the seat of the national electricity company. Hama in central Syria, was the scene of some of the biggest events of the dispute that began mid-March.

It is a city-martyr in the recent history of Syria in 1982, thousands of people had been killed by the Syrian army in suppressing an uprising by Islamist ordered Hafez Al-Assad, the Bashar's father. Some estimates suggest a review of 30 000 died in the brutal repression. In May, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once one of the main allies of Assad, the Syrian president warned: "We do not want to see another massacre of Hama." Launched in mid-March in the wake of Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, the protest movement would have been 1634 deaths, according to a recent report by the NGO Avaaz, which also suggests the number of missing 2918.

There were also more than 25 000 people arrested, half of which would still be behind bars.

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