Syrian forces kill 8 protesters in Homs city, activist says

Deaths occur at rally for incarcerated rebel leader; WikiLeaks cable shows US funneled millions to Syrian exiles in London.

By REUTERS
April 18, 2011 09:06
2 minute read.
Syrians demonstrate after Friday prayers, Latakia.

syrian protests_311 reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)

 
X

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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

AMMAN - Syrian forces killed 8 protesters overnight in the central city of Homs in confrontations after the death of a tribal leader in custody, a rights campaigner in Homs said on Monday.

"Homs is boiling. Security forces and the regime thugs have been provoking armed tribes for a month now. But civilians in large numbers also took to the streets in different areas of Homs last night and they were shot at in cold blood," the rights campaigner told Reuters.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Oops! The law of unintended consequences in the Mideast
‘Blame the Zionists, don’t kill more than 20 at a time'

Also on Monday, it was revealed that he US State Department has secretly funded Syrian opposition groups, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, The Washington Post reported.

The cables show that the State Department has funneled as much as $6 million since 2006 to a group of Syrian exiles to operate a London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, and finance activities inside Syria, the Post said.

Barada TV began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria that began last month as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow President Bashar Assad the Post said.

The US money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after political ties with Damascus were frozen in 2005, the newspaper said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The financial backing has continued under US President Barack Obama, even as his administration sought to rebuild relations with Assad, the Post said. In January, the White House posted an ambassador to Damascus for the first time in six years.

Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East

The article said it is unclear whether the United States was still funding Syrian opposition groups, but the cables indicate money was set aside at least through September 2010.

An uprising against Assad's authoritarian rule have spread across large parts of the country. Rights groups put the death toll at more than 200 people. Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs.

The previously undisclosed cables show that US Embassy officials in Damascus became worried in 2009 when they learned that Syrian intelligence agents were raising questions about US programs, The Washington Post said.

An April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking US diplomat in Damascus at the time read Syrian authorities "would undoubtedly view any US funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change," the Post reported.

"A reassessment of current US-sponsored programming that supports anti-[government] factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive," the cable said.

The Post said the State Department declined to comment on the authenticity of the cables or answer questions about its funding of Barada TV.

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

Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a pr
October 20, 2018
Amnesty condemns Saudi 'whitewash' in Khashoggi case, calls for autopsy

By REUTERS