Independence Day in Syria Brings More Bloodshed

Liberty Alerts, Patrick Goodenough,

As Syrians marked their country’s independence day on Sunday, continuing anti-regime protests and the government’s violent response suggest that a series of concessions offered by President Bashar Assad will not easily defuse the escalating crisis.

At least five more deaths were reported in fresh demonstrations in Homs and another four in the coastal city of Latakia, a day after Assad pledged to end 48 years of emergency rule within days.

Hours after Assad made the announcement in a speech to government ministers, more demonstrations were reported in Damascus and in the southern city of Dera’a, which has been a hotbed of unrest since mid-March. Further protests were reported Sunday in other cities including Suweida, Aleppo and Banias.

The ruling Baath party and state media used the occasion of Syria’s 65th independence anniversary to repeat allegations that the Arab country is the target of a foreign plot.

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