Det er anarki-tilstander i den syriske havnebyen Latakia, etter at snikskyttere drepte demonstranter fra toppen av hustakene i helgen.
Folk ble skutt gjennom hode og hals. Resultatet er at folk tar loven i sine egne hender. Det er opprettet kontrollposter hvor væpnede menn avkrever folk ID.
Latakia består av sunnier i sentrum, og de regjeringsominerende alawittene i utkanten. Der bor det også kristne, etniske tyrkere og drusere. Den etnisk-religiøse miksen har potensial til konflikter, hvis regimet velger vold som løsning.
New York-based Human Rights Watch called on the government «to hold to account those responsible for any unlawful shooting on demonstrators.»
«Syria’s authorities promise reform on TV but meet demonstrators with bullets in the streets,» said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. «The government should understand that these demonstrations won’t end until it stops shooting at protesters and begins to change its repressive laws and practices.»
Elsewhere in Syria, armed groups appeared to be facing off and threatening an escalation in violence in the country’s main port city of Latakia. Residents were taking up weapons and manning their own checkpoints to guard against what they say are unknown gunmen roaming the streets carrying sticks and hunting rifles, witnesses said Monday.
It was not clear whether the gunmen were working for the government.
The scenes in Latakia, a Mediterranean port once known as a summer tourist draw, were a remarkable display of anarchy in what had been one of the Mideast’s most tightly controlled countries.
The Latakia resident told AP that soldiers were deployed in the city and around key buildings, including the ruling Baath party headquarters and the Central Bank.
But he said that in nearby villages and entrances to the city, armed groups who appeared to be residents were blocking roads with garbage containers and large rocks and asking people for their ID.
«They are terrorizing people,» he said. «They are regular people who are taking up the role of security forces, that’s extremely dangerous,» he said.
The government has accused armed, foreign elements of working to sow sectarian strife and destabilize the country.
Påstanden om at utenlandske krefter står bak uroen, provoserer folk noe voldsomt.
Om noe så er det regjeringen som drar inn utenlandske krefter. Det er blitt meldt at Hizbollah-soldater er satt inn mot befolkningen i byer som Deraa og har vært blant de mest brutale.