Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, May 9, 2011

Iran helping Syrian regime crack down on protesters, say diplomats - 9th May 2011

Claim comes as four women shot dead by security forces in first use of violence against an all-female demonstration.

Iran is playing an increasingly active role in helping the Syrian regime in its crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, according to western diplomatic sources in Damascus.

The claim came as Syria's security forces backed by tanks intensified operations to suppress unrest in three new flashpoint towns on Sunday and it was confirmed that four women had been shot dead in the first use of force against an all-female demonstration.

A senior western diplomat in Damascus expanded on assertions, first made by White House officials last month, that Iran is advising president Bashar al-Assad's government on how to crush dissent.

The diplomat pointed to a "significant" increase in the number of Iranian personnel in Syria since protests began in mid-March. Mass arrests in door-to-door raids, similar to those that helped to crush Iran's "green revolution" in 2009, have been stepped up in the past week.

Human rights groups suggest more than 7,000 people have been detained since the uprising began. More than 800 people are said to have died, up to 50 during last Friday's "day of defiance". Last night two unarmed demonstrators were reportedly killed during a night rally in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor. Read More