Reporter Witnesses Mass Arrests in Syria

(New York Times) Robert Mackey - Martin Fletcher, a correspondent for The Times of London, visited Syria last week posing as a tourist. He reported that Homs was "like an occupied city...virtually under martial law," with sets of four tanks deployed at every intersection. He was eventually detained, reporting "that the regime had been arresting almost every young man of fighting age that they could find on the streets of Homs." Fletcher suggested that the protest movement did not seem to be on the brink of success and that it was, so far, "nowhere near on the scale of Egypt." "President Assad still remains fairly popular, certainly compared to Gaddafi and Mubarak, among substantial sections of the population. The regime is relatively united. The army hasn't split as it did in Libya and it's not standing on the sidelines obviously as it did in Egypt." "Assad still has quite a lot of support in Syria and a lot of people think the protesters are disrupting normal life, they simply want this to be over....There is little chance of this insurrection removing Assad in the near future."

2011-05-12 00:00:00

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