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29/09/2011 | Opinion - A fresh start needed in Syria

Editorial

The Syrian government is making a serious mistake by refusing to talk to the protesters whose regular massive marches are paralysing life in Syria. No long-term answer can possibly come from the Syrian army shooting Syrian citizens every week.

 

That is why it is a tragedy that large numbers of Syrian soldiers, backed by tanks and helicopters, yesterday attacked the town of Rastan near the city of Homs. The small town had apparently been home to a detachment of army defectors, and been surrounded for two days by government forces who had pounded it with tank and machine gun fire before they finally assaulted the town yesterday.

For over six months, popular protests at first demanded fairly simple reforms looking for more transparency in government and were surprisingly modest about their demands on President Bashar Al Assad, but in the face of continued government intransigence many protesters have started to demand regime change.

The outlook is uncertain as the protesters look ready to continue their marches, and the government is unable to come up with any practical answer. But it is very clear that shooting tens of people every weekend is not right, and will not succeed.

Gulf News (Dubái )

 


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