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Baath apparatchiks abandon Assad as bloody crackdown escalates

Egyptian protesters demand end to peace with Israel

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Posted on: 
28 Apr 2011
Baath apparatchiks abandon Assad as bloody crackdown escalates

203 members of Syria's ruling Baath Party announced their resignations on Wednesday, protesting the recent bloody crackdown on protesters. The resignations are a major emberresment to the Assad regime, which has unleashed security forces in a rampage which has killed over 500 Syrians in six weeks.

"The security services have demolished the values with which we grew up. We denounce and condemn everything that has taken place and announce with regret our resignation from the party," the resigning members said in a statement. "Practices of the security services against our unarmed citizens... are against all human values and the slogans of the party."

The internal pressure on the regime is likely to exacerbate the regimes increasingly isolated international diplomatic position, as the EU and several individual European governments have joined the US in calling for diplomatic and economic sanctions against members of the ruling elite as well as several state owned business interests. Meanwhile, an umbrella group of over 150 anti-government activists and opposition groups calling itself the National Initiative for Change (NIC) warned Assad to institute real democratic reforms or risk "violence, chaos and civil war."

Elsewhere in the Arab world, protesters gathered in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Wednesday demanding an end to the 1979 Camp David Accords and a return to the state of belligerency between Israel and Egypt.

Chanting, "the people demand the cancellation of normalization" and "the gas must stop!" they also demanded that Egyptian supplies of natural gas to the Jewish State be discontinued.

Next door, NATO air strikes have made some progress in lifting the siege on the Western city of Misrata, but thousands of civilians are still trapped in the city and reportedly taking heavy fire from troops loyal to dictator Moammar Gadaffi. An aid ship took advantage of a brief lull in fighting to evacuate wounded civilians.

"Despite heavy shelling of the port area... about 935 migrants and Libyans have been rescued and are now safely en route to Benghazi," the International Organization for Migration said.

In Yemen, several people were reported killed in ongoing internecine violence Thursday as factions begin to stake out positions ahead of the imminent departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.


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