Syrian activists report new raids, arrests

  • Thu Feb 16th 2012

Activists say Syrian regime forces have attacked the city of Daraa, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad erupted 11 months ago.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported sweeping raids, arrests and "random shooting" today by security forces.

The push into Daraa follows sieges on the rebellious cities of Homs and Hama and appears to be part of an effort to extinguish major pockets of dissent.

Assad on Wednesday ordered a referendum on a new constitution that would create a multiparty system in a country that has been ruled by his autocratic family dynasty for 40 years.

But after 11 months of bloodshed and well over 5,000 dead, Assad's opponents say the country's strongman must go.

AP

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