Thousands of people demonstrated today against the regime of President Bashar Al Assad in Douma, a suburb of Damascus. The news was reported Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization based in London that can count on an extensive network of local contacts. According to the Observatory, the security forces have used tear gas and sound bombs, people took to the streets responded by throwing stones.
The news agency ‘SANA’ (pro-government) has reported, however, that there were demonstrations in support of Assad, are being held today in several governorates: Aleppo, Homs, Latakia, Tartous, Soueida, Hassake and Damascus itself.
It is not yet clear whether there were victims at Douma or village in the country’s first Friday – the traditional day of protest – spent in the presence of an international observation mission sent by the Arab League.
Since the observers arrived, at least 130 civilians have been killed by security forces according to local coordination committees that actually are promoting and organizing almost all actions against the regime.
In a speech reported by ‘Reuters’, Riad Assad, a dissident army officer who took shelter in Turkey and then established the Syrian Free Army (ESL), said he had ordered the suspension of armed actions. The ESL is a formation that brings together various men and army deserters, and has claimed responsibility for several armed attacks against the military loyal to the regime and some institutional settings.