Syrian Forces Stage Raids In Rebellious Central City Syrian security forces stage new raids in the central city of Homs, a hotbed of opposition to the regime of Bashar Assad. Residents report shooting throughout the night and into Wednesday morning, with several deaths confirmed. The operation was launched as Syria postponed a planned visit to Damascus by the secretary general of the Arab League, which has been pushing for a halt to military operations against protesters.
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Syrian Forces Stage Raids In Rebellious Central City

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Syrian Forces Stage Raids In Rebellious Central City

Syrian Forces Stage Raids In Rebellious Central City

Syrian Forces Stage Raids In Rebellious Central City

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140261580/140261555" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Syrian security forces stage new raids in the central city of Homs, a hotbed of opposition to the regime of Bashar Assad. Residents report shooting throughout the night and into Wednesday morning, with several deaths confirmed. The operation was launched as Syria postponed a planned visit to Damascus by the secretary general of the Arab League, which has been pushing for a halt to military operations against protesters.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Beirut.

PETER KENYON: In the face of growing international condemnation and economic pressure, the Assad regime today showed a defiant face, pouring more troops and tanks into areas of protest.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE YELLING)

KENYON: The regime has been at pains to show the capitol itself is devoid of unrest and the military has cracked down heavily on protests in the suburbs, according to activists and residents.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE YELLING)

KENYON: Syria analyst Peter Harling, with the International Crisis Group, says the Assad regime is fighting for its survival. Speaking from Cairo, he said the government would like to redefine this popular protest as an armed Islamist uprising like the one Bashar al-Assad's father crushed some 40 years ago.

PETER HARLING: Protestors have faced escalating violence on the part of the regime and, in fact, they've shown great restraint themselves. The regime has been trying to provoke the protest movement, which has been, by and large, peaceful, into an armed response.

KENYON: Today, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland had this to say about Ford's comments.

VICTORIA NULAND: Ambassador Ford is courageously calling it like it is in Syria and standing with those Syrians who want to live a better life and have a more democratic future.

KENYON: Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Beirut.

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