Thursday, June 23, 2011

Syrian Troops Continue Push Towards Turkish Border In Ongoing Crackdown

Syrian forces continue moving through villages in northern parts of Syria in an effort to quash the ongoing opposition movement. They're moving towards the Syria-Turkey border, where many have sought refuge from Bashar al-Assad's thugs if they haven't already crossed over into Turkey.
Witnesses said Thursday the troops entered Khirbet al-Jouz, continuing a government crackdown on a pro-democracy uprising that began in March.

Turkey has set up tent camps to house 10,000 Syrians who have fled to escape the violence.

EU diplomats say the 27-nation bloc is due to adopt new sanctions Thursday against seven individuals, including three Iranians, which would then come into force on Friday.

The diplomats said Wednesday the seven individuals will be added to a list of 23 people and entities already under an EU asset freeze and travel ban. The list includes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Iranians and other newly-targeted individuals are suspected of providing military equipment and support to the Syrian government in suppressing the opposition movement that began in March. The crackdown has killed at least 1,400 people.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem denounced the EU action Wednesday, saying it is hurting the livelihood of Syrians and represents an "act of war."

Speaking at a news conference in Damascus, he said Syria "will forget Europe is on the map" and rejects foreign interference in its internal affairs.
Assad continues his insular rule and scoffs at the notion that outsiders can influence how he crushes the opposition:
Syria has rejected foreign intervention over its deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests as UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged a united response from the Security Council charging that President Bashar al-Assad lacked "credibility.

Ban was on Wednesday echoing the disappointment expressed by many foreign governments over a keynote speech delivered by Assad on Monday in which he insisted there could be no reform amid the "chaos" of three months of anti-government protests.

"No one outside can impose on us their point of view," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a Damascus press conference, when asked about the mounting diplomatic pressure on his government.

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