In flashpoint Syrian city, another day of shelling
April 30th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

In flashpoint Syrian city, another day of shelling

[Updated at 9:19 a.m.]A few dozen tanks fired shells and a curfew was imposed Saturday in the restive Syrian city of Daraa, the site of ongoing clashes between security forces and protesters, eyewitnesses told CNN.

The assault took place in the eastern part of the embattled city, where helicopters were flying overhead and soldiers were stationed on rooftops, the witnesses said.

Gunfire could be heard in the background as one of the eyewitnesses spoke to CNN over the telephone.

One eyewitness said that men venturing outside were being shot and women and children who left their homes were being escorted back. Another witness said anyone on the street was being shot.

Bloated bodies remained uncollected in the streets, their relatives afraid to retrieve them, witnesses said, and they complained about a lack of water, power, electricity and food.

CNN has not been granted access into Syria and is unable to independently verify witness accounts.

But CNN has spoken with witnesses, some of whom have also reported what they see via social networking sites and posted homemade videos. Reports also have been compiled by human rights organizations.

The clampdown in Daraa comes a day after 19 people, including four soldiers, were reported killed and more than 50 others wounded in the city, where the country-wide demonstrations started last month.

Government forces opened fire on protesters from neighboring villages who tried to enter the city near the Jordanian-Syrian border, according to witnesses who spoke with CNN.

The violence comes amid a bloody crackdown against protesters by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus.

The harsh crackdown has emboldened demonstrators and has drawn widespread criticism across the world from countries, international entities like the United Nations, and human rights groups.

The U.S. government on Friday announced new sanctions against top members and elements of the regime.

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soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. IKHAN

    Middle East is already in the grip of shifting sands. Changes will take place not necessarily to our liking.
    For too long we relied on dictators in some of these countries to toe our failed policies primarily to protect interests if Israeli regimes as we kept eyes averted from core issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict.
    Seems that this wouldn't work any longer and we shall have to face reality sooner or later.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tol Trunks

    Only 23 people are dead in Syria from recent violence. Reports are grossly erroneous from the media about the matter. The nation is protected with a 144 sigma joule force field of light. It cannot be bombarded at all. Unrest will be internal. President Al-Assad is aware of this, fully. 2-3-2012.

    May 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Wafie

    We know what our government is doing. It's doing the wright thing completely. Any country in the whole world, if any group tried to destroy the national security, the government will put them in the jail forever and no doubt will execute them. In "Syria", and in my believe, the government waited too long time to take such a wright step to prevent the criminal and the crime from happening. As we can see from the weapons that caught with criminals who had arrested, it don't belong to our army. And we had never seen any weapons like those in Syria. And what about the human rights, everybody talks about human rights. Why we never heard from those people before ?! Why never heard from those about the people from Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and much more .. Or, those people (who talk about human rights, as they claim) only see what they want to see, and the rest of the world is a blind spot. The Media in the middle east and other countries are the worst, like "ALJazeera, AlArabia, BBC, etc....". Even the little child can see and recognize that those media are biased and no doubt they get paid for everything they do to stay against the regime in the Middle East in general, and "Syria" in specific. Hope this comment gives the point of view of my people and mine. GOD bless Syria and it's people.
    P.S. First, I'm Christian (Catholic). But I don't care, I'm also a moslim, Dorzi, Alawi and all of the religions. The only thing the gather all those together is that " I am Syrian" and will stay Syrian and die as Syrian. Last and not least, "Allah, Soria, Bashar w baas"

    May 7, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wafie

    Hello, to CNN, please, please please. I wish once and only once that "Aljazeera" publish my comments on their "topics against Syria". On every topic I make a comment, but with no hope. I never say anything like cursing or swearing or mentioning any names. All what I get is Aljazeera never publish and submit my comments. Why?!!!! and Why?!!! and Why?!!! is that's what we call freedom of expressing your opinions. Hope CNN will publish my comments here. and make my sound bearable by others. Thank you.

    May 7, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
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