Syria: Baath party officials ‘quit in protest’
Some 200 members of Syria‘s ruling Baath party are reported to have resigned over the violent crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrations.
The resignations were centred on the southern city of Deraa, a focal point of violence that has allegedly killed 450 people in six weeks.
Shooting was heard in Deraa overnight, where the government this week sent tanks and troops to regain control.
Meanwhile, the UN failed to agree on a statement condemning the crackdown.
A draft proposed by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal was opposed by several states within the 15-member Security Council, with Russia insisting events in Syria were not a threat to international peace.
President Bashar al-Assad‘s government disputes the Western view that the demonstrations have been non-violent.
In a statement carried by the official news agency, it said it had sent troops to several cities on the request of citizens who were worried about “armed extremists”. Opposition leaders say the protests are peaceful.
and told that the violence in Syria was “completely unacceptable“.
Foreign media ban
A declaration signed by the Baath party officials in Deraa said they were quitting to protest against the violent crackdown, Reuters reported.
“In view of the negative stance taken by the leadership of the Arab Socialist Baath Party towards the events in Syria and in Deraa, and after the death of hundreds and the wounding of thousands at the hands of the various security forces, we submit our collective resignation,” said the statement.
On Thursday, Lebanese security officials said several hundred Syrians, mainly women and children, had fled on foot across…. Read more…