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Demonstrasjonene i Syria spredte seg til flere byer fredag, titusener marsjerte. De ble møtt av sikkerhetsstyrker som skjøt for å drepe. Mengden har reagert med raseri.

I byen Daraa i sør, på grensen til Jordan, omringet en stor folkemengde en liten politistyrke, fratok dem våpnene og jaget dem ut av gamlebyen og gjeninntok kontrollen med al-Omari-moskeen.

Dette tyder på at Assad-regimet er ved å miste kontrollen. Den folkelige motstanden er sterkere enn politistatens metoder.

Protestene har vart halvannen uke, men følger noe av samme utvikling som i Tunisia, Egypt, Libya og Bahrain: de vokser, og repressive tiltak får mengden til å vokse enda mer. I en økende motstanden ligger et budskap om at regimets dager er talte. Det vil være et voldsomt slag for Iran, og skremme vannet av presteregimet.

Som i Tunisia har protesten i Syria begynt i periferien:

Thousands poured into Daraa’s central Assad Square after Friday prayers, many from nearby villages, chanting «Freedom! Freedom!» and waving Syrian flags and olive branches, witnesses said. Some attacked a bronze statue of Hafez Assad. One witness told The Associated Press that they tried to set it on fire, another said they tried to pull it down.
Troops responded with heavy gunfire, according to a resident who said he saw two bodies and many wounded people brought to Daraa’s main hospital.
After night fell, thousands of enraged protesters snatched weapons from a far smaller number of troops and chased them out of Daraa’s Roman-era old city, taking back control of the al-Omari mosque, the epicenter of the past week’s protests.

Selv i Damaskus ble det løsnet skudd mot folkemengden fredag.

Protesters wept over the bloodied bodies of slain comrades and massive crowds chanted anti-government slogans, then fled as gunfire erupted, according to footage posted online. Security forces shot to death more than 15 people in at least six cities and villages, including a suburb of the capital, Damascus, witnesses told The Associated Press. Their accounts could not be independently confirmed.

Antall drepte skal ifølge opposisjonen være 100. Selv regimet nnrømmer et tredvetall drepte bare i Daraa.

The Syrian government said 34 had been slain in Daraa before Friday, while the U.N. human rights office put the figure at 37. Activists said it was as high as 100.

AP har en detaljert oversikt over hendelsene i ulike byer og landsbyer. I en landsby Sanamein, forsøkte innbyggerne å marsjere til nærliggende Daraa for å vise sin solidaritet. De ble møtt av sikkehetsstyrker som åpnet ild. Det snakkes om 20 drepte.

Når en landsby opplever så store tap på en dag, skjer det noe. Det sier noe om en vilje på landsbygda til forandring, og når denne protesten møtes med dødelige våpen, forvandles den til et opprør.

Det var vel det som skjedde i Syria fredag: protesten ble til opprør. Kravet er regimeendring.

Demonstrators in the southern village of Sanamein tried to march to nearby Daraa in support of protesters there, but they were met by troops who opened fire, said an activist in Damascus in touch with witnesses threre. He said the witnesses reported fatalities — some as high as 20 dead — but that he could not confirm the number.
A video posted on Facebook by Syrian pro-democracy activists showed what it said were five dead young men lying on stretchers in Sanamein as men weeped around them. The voice of a woman can be heard saying, «down with Bashar Assad.»
An unidentified Syrian official asserted that an armed group attacked the army headquarters in Sanamein and tried to storm it, leading to a clash with guards.

Inne i Damaskus foregikk det sammenstøt flere steder. Der var Assad-tilhengere ute på gatene, utkommandert, eller drevet av frykt for hva som vil skje, gikk de til fysisk konfrontasjon med demonstrantene. I tillegg åpnet sikkerhetsstyrker ild flere steder.

In Damascus, the heart of Bashar Assad’s rule, protests and clashes broke out in multiple neighborhoods as crowds of regime opponents marched and thousands of Assad loyalists drove in convoys, shouting, «Bashar, we love you!»
The two sides battled, whipping each other with leather belts, in Damascus’ old city outside the historic Umayyad mosque, parts of which date to the 8th Century. About two miles (three kilometers) away, central Umayyad Square was packed with demonstrators who traded punches and hit each other with sticks from Syrian flags, according to Associated Press reporters at the sites.
An amateur video posted on the Internet showed hundreds of young men marching though Damascus’ old covered bazaar, some riding on others shoulders and pumping their fists in the air, chanting, «With our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice for you, Daraa!»
Secutiry forces chased and beat around 200 protesters chanting «Freedom, Freedom!» on a bridge in the center of the city, an activist said.
After dark, troops opened fire on protesters in the Damascus suburb of Maadamiyeh, a witness told the AP. An activist in contact with people there said three had been killed.

I Daraa i sør er det konservative sunnier som marsjerer. De har tilhørt Assad-regimets mest trofaste støttespillere. De senere år har tørke ført til at småbønder har trukket inn til byene, der de fylles av frustrasjon over manglende muligheter.

I Damaskus er det middelklassemennesker som går foran, ofte mennesker som har slektninger i fengsel av politiske årsaker.

Frykt og tabu

I en politistat vil frykt og tabu forsterke hverandre og holde innbyggerne i et jerngrep.

Men nå er frykten borte. Det er hva revolusjon handler om. Og drap og tortur bare gjør bare mengden fryktløse.

The scenes of chaos and violence shocked many in this tightly controlled country where protests are usually confined to government-orchestrated demonstrations in support of the regime, and political discussions are confined to whispers, mainly indoors.
«There’s a barrier of fear that has been broken and the demands are changing with every new death,» said Ayman Abdul-Nour, a Dubai-based former member of Assad’s ruling Baath Party. «We’re starting to hear calls for the regime’s ouster,» he said.

Fredag var dagen dra opprøret spredte seg som en brann til mange byer.

Troops opened fire on more than 1,000 people marching in Syria’s main Mediterranean port, Latakia. One activist told AP witnesses in the city hospital saw four protesters slain. Another was reported slain in the central city of Homs, where hundreds of people demonstrated in support of Daraa and demanded reforms, he said. He, like other activists and witnesses around the country, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation by the regime.

Further protests erupted in the town of Douma, outside the capital, and the cities of Raqqa in the north and Zabadani in the west, near the border with Lebanon, a human rights activist said, reporting an unknown number of protesters detained.

Til sammen danner dette bildet av et regime som er beleiret, og hvis dager er talte.

Troops open fire as protests explode across Syria

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