Middle East News
Fears of violence increase in Syria, amid calls for protests
Oct 7, 2011, 9:42 GMT
Damascus/Beirut - Fears increased Friday among Syrian activists and neighboring countries of violence spilling across the borders, as Syrian forces continued to chase activists near the Turkish and Lebanese borders.
'The circle of violence is widening in Syria, and Syrian troops are now pursuing activists and army defectors in Turkey and Lebanon,' Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told dpa.
He warned that the unrest in Syria, which began in mid-March as peaceful protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, was turning increasingly violent in response to the government's brutal crackdown.
'Violence breeds more violence,' Abdel Rahman said.
Meanwhile, Syrian troops continued to chase activists and army defectors in Jabal al Zawiya, near the Turkish border, the Observatory said.
On Thursday, seven Syrian soldiers and five deserters or civilians were killed in the clashes in Jabal al Zawiya, it said, adding that 32 people had been wounded.
A Lebanese security source told dpa the farmer who was killed by a Syrian army unit inside the Lebanese territories on Thursday, was a Syrian national who is married to a Lebanese woman.
Amid all the tension, pro-democracy activists called for fresh demonstrations on Friday under the banner: 'The Syrian National Council is our representative, yours and mine as well as all of the Syrians.'
The Syrian National Council was formed Sunday in Turkey as an umbrella coalition of opposition figures to represent the main factions standing against al-Assad's regime.
In a video posted on YouTube, prominent Syrian Communist Party opposition figure Riyad Turk, 71, expressed his backing of the Council.
'All the forces of the revolution should join together and call for the regime's end in order to establish a democratic and civil state,' he said.
Turk who has been an outspoken critic of al-Assad for years, spent 20 years behind bars in Syria.
More than 2,900 people have died since the unrest began in Syria in mid-March, according to a new UN estimate.