Syria security forces kill 36 anti-government protesters
Syria’s opposition warned of a “massacre” by government troops in the dissident central Homs province, as the death toll in the crackdown on protesters around the country climbed to 36 on Friday.
Eighteen of the deaths occurred in Homs and included three children and a woman, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria reported.
The others were killed when security forces fired on anti-government demonstrations in the provinces of Hama, Idlib and Daraa, said activists.
Amid the violence, a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Damascus was discussing a response it had received from the Arab League to its request for lifting sanctions as a pre-condition for allowing observers to enter the country to end the bloodbath.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi on Thursday had asked Iraq to persuade Syria to allow observers on its soil as part of efforts to end the unrest.
Syria said last week it would allow observers into the country if all the Arab League’s sanctions are made “null and void.” Last week, the Arab League froze assets of 19 top Syrian officials and banned them from traveling to Arab states.
A Beirut-based Arab diplomat said an Arab League ministerial team is due to hold talks on Saturday in Qatar to discuss the Syrian crisis.
Meanwhile, activists based in northern Lebanon told DPA that at least four wounded Syrian protesters from the province of Homs arrived in an area inside Lebanon, through an illegal crossing.