Syria: Suweida activists set up protest camp in city square

Protesters in Suweida set up camp in a city centre square on Sunday in a step up of their demands for an end to the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A sit-in tent was set up in the southern Syrian city’s Al-Karama Square by a group of local young men, a correspondent for The New Arab‘s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said, more than a fortnight after demonstrations were first launched in the area.

The young men said the protest camp was an escalation in the demands made during more than two weeks of protests, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Demonstrations had initially called for government action on surging inflation and poor living conditions, but have since escalated to a demand for the fall of the Assad regime and for a UN resolution approved in 2015, and aimed at bringing about political transition in Syria, to be implemented.

Hundreds of protesters including women and children were in Al-Karama Square on Monday morning, raising placards that condemned the regime led by Bashar al-Assad, The New Arab‘s sister outlet Syria TV reported. Anti-regime chants could also be heard.

Despite attempts by attempts by regime forces to clamp down on dissent other protests have broken out in the Druze-majority province, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Protesters in Suweida have removed or defaced images of Assad and ruling Baath party slogans outside schools and state buildings and at the entrances to towns. RELATED

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Home to most of Syria’s Druze community, the province had remained in regime hands throughout the war and was largely spared the violence seen elsewhere.

However, demonstrations against the Assad regime have taken place sporadically in Suweida since 2011, when the Assad regime brutally cracked down on peaceful protest and sparked an ongoing civil war.

More than half a million Syrians have died as a result of the 12-year war, and millions have been displaced from their homes.

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