'Syrian forces deploy in Banias arresting Sunnis'

Protest leader: Assad troops move on city under pro-democracy demonstrators' control; France pushes EU to sanction Assad.

May 3, 2011 14:31
1 minute read.
A tank keeps watch in Banias, Syria, Monday.

syrian tank_311 reuters. (photo credit: Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


AMMAN - Syrian forces and gunmen loyal to President Bashar Assad moved on Tuesday into areas of Banias city center that has been under the control of pro-democracy demonstrators for weeks, a protest leader said.

The coastal city has witnessed some of the most persistent protests challenging Assad's rule.

Barak: Syria's Assad nearing the end of his reign
‘US sanctions on Syria are a cruel joke’

"They moved into the main market area. The army has sealed the northern entrance and 'Amn' (security) the south. They armed Alawite villages in the hills overlooking Banias and we are now facing militias from the east," Anas al-Shughri told Reuters.

Shughri said armed plainclothes security men deployed in the market street and began to arrest people according to their family names on identity cards.

"They are targeting Sunnis. I regret to say that the propaganda that Assad is spreading that the Alawites will not survive if he is toppled is receiving an audience among our Alawite neighbors, although the demonstrations have been for freedom and unity, regardless of sect," Shughri said.

Also on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that France wants the European Union to impose sanctions on Syrian leaders including Assad in response to the violent suppression of pro-democracy protests.

"We are trying to act with our European partners," he told reporters. Asked if Assad should be included among targets of sanctions, he said: "That's what France wants."

Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A member of the Taliban holds a flag in Kabul, Afghanistan
January 19, 2019
Afghan Taliban refuse to hold talks with U.S. in Pakistan