Home > Al-Assad, Aleppo, Daraa, Dara’a, Deraa, Hams, Hims, Syria, بشار الأسد, جامعة حلب, حلب, حمص, دمشق, درعا, سورية > Opposition says Assad vows not to fire on rally

Opposition says Assad vows not to fire on rally

An adviser to Syria President Bashar al-Assad has promised government forces will not fire on protests planned for Friday, an opposition leader says.

Louay al-Husein told the BBC he and other opposition leaders had been in talks with adviser Buthaina Shabaan to negotiate an end to the crisis.

Reports say tanks and soldiers are already being set up in some cities in preparation for Friday’s rallies.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands arrested since protests began in March.

Mr Assad’s government insists it is pursuing “armed terrorist gangs”.

Meanwhile, government forces continued to arrest democracy campaigners in several cities on Thursday, a rights group said.

‘Getting ready’

Mr Husein, who was detained at the start of the unrest but freed a few days later, said Ms Shabaan had told the opposition that security forces had been given strict orders not to fire on crowds on Friday.

Ms Shabaan also said talks would continue next week, Mr Husein added.

Thousands have been arrested in two months of protests against President Assad

It seems they are getting ready for tomorrow”

However some reports suggested security forces were being deployed in cities where protests are expected.

In the central city of Homs, a resident told AP news agency that soldiers had set up sand barriers with machine guns perched on top, and said that three tanks were still in the area.

“It seems they are getting ready for tomorrow,” he told AP.

Syrian soldiers and tanks also surrounded the city of Hama, the news agency reported.

On Wednesday, 18 people were reportedly killed as tanks shelled Homs and clashes were reported in towns and villages around Deraa, where the protests began.

Security forces also broke up thousands of students taking part in a demonstration in Aleppo, Syria‘s second largest city, witnesses said.

The protest, thought to have been be the city’s

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