Click on link to watch video.
In a country where some civilians live in constant fear of government attack, opposition activists say the Syrian regime is launching another offensive — snatching up medical personnel.
As of Sunday, at least 295 doctors have been arrested in the uprising as part of a “fierce campaign” against physicians, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.
Residents — particularly in the opposition stronghold of Homs — describe an endless nightmare of random shelling on houses, snipers perched on rooftops and wounded civilians dying long, painful deaths because they can’t get the medical care needed to save their lives.
Even those mourning the dead can’t escape the government’s relentless onslaught.
At least two people were killed at a massive funeral and protest Saturday in Damascus, the LCC said. Security forces confronted the tens of thousands of mourners and protesters with gunfire and tear gas, the group said.
The two were among 17 killed across Syria on Saturday, according to the LCC.
More than 8,500 people have been killed since the Syrian government‘s crackdown on peaceful demonstrators started more than 11 months ago, LCC spokeswoman Rafif Jouejati said. The United Nations has said well over 5,000 people have died, though it does not have a recent death count due to the conditions in the country.
In recent months, more opposition fighters have taken up arms against government soldiers, police and militia.
World powers decry the violence but have been unable to stop it.
“I exchanged clear and profound viewpoints with President al-Assad about the Syrian issue. … China, as a friendly country to Syria, is following with great concern the developments here,” Zhai said, according to state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.
China, like Russia, has vetoed attempts by the U.N. Security Council to denounce the al-Assad regime amid escalating reports of government brutality in Syria.
Zhai said China urged all sides “to sit on the dialogue table to reach a comprehensive political plan.”
“I briefed President al-Assad on China’s basic stance image over the Syrian issue. This stance is represented by calling on the Syrian government, armed men and the opposition to an immediate halt of acts of violence against civilians.”
CNN cannot independently confirm opposition and government reports of violence because the Syrian government has severely restricted the access of international journalists.
The Syrian regime has denied reports that al-Assad’s forces are targeting civilians, saying they are fighting armed gangs and foreign fighters bent on destabilizing the government.
But the vast majority of accounts from within the country indicate Syrian forces are slaughtering civilians in an attempt to wipe out dissidents calling for al-Assad’s ouster.
- Will post-Assad Syria look like Iraq? (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com)
- China backs Assad before Syrian forces open fire at funeral (guardian.co.uk)
- Syrians plan to protest, hold joint funeral near al-Assad’s palace (news.blogs.cnn.com)