Syria: revolution reborn


The Free Syria flag again flew high in villages, towns and cities across the country Aug 25, as thousands filled the streets, reviving the chants of the revolution. Protests had days earlier erupted in the regime-held south of the country, first in the Druze-majority city of Sweida (Suwayda) and Dera’a—the town that saw the initial anti-regime protests of the 2011 uprising. They were triggered by the cost-of-living crisis, especially the recent increase in fuel prices as the regime has yet again cut subsidies. But protests sparked by economic demands soon escalated to renewed calls for the downfall of the Bashar Assad dictatorship.

Inspired by Sweida and Dera’a, protesters then took to the streets in other regime-held cities, including Aleppo, the country’s largest, which was savagely bombarded by regime and Russian warplanes in 2015-6. Demonstrations were also mobilized in support of the new uprising in opposition-held Idlib, and in Raqqa, Hasakeh and Deir ez-Zour—which are occupied by US-backed Kurdish forces in an uneasy alliance with the Assad regime. (Via overview on Leila’s blog, platform of Syrian activist Leila Al Shami)

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reports that at least 57 have been arrested in protests in regime-held areas since the beginning of August. (SNHR)

Photo of Idlib demonstration by Omar Albam, via Leila’s blog

  1. Syria: security forces fire on protesters

    Security forces fired on anti-government protestors Sept. 13 in Sweida, the Druze city of southwest Syria, according to local news outlet Suwayda 24. The protestors were fired upon as they rallied outside a local Ba’ath party building. Suwayda 24’s correspondent saidsecurity forces used live rounds to dispel the protestors, wounding three.

    In an interview after this incident, the wounded protestors thanked Druze leader Sheikh Hikmat al-Hajari for his condemnation of Assad’s ruling Ba’ath party, and emphasized their commitment to keeping the protests peaceful. (Jurist)

  2. Syria: security forces fire on protesters —again

    One man has reportedly died after being shot by security forces in the southern Syrian province of al-Sweida Feb. 28, making him the first person to be killed since protests broke out in the region last August. The demonstrations, previously rare in government-controlled areas, have taken on poor economic conditions, the end of government fuel subsidies, and the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. (TNH)