Pro-democracy protests across Syria demand foreign help

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 09, 2011 7:28 AM
Pro-democracy protests across Syria demand foreign help

AMMAN (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets across Syria after Friday prayers, demanding international protection to stop civilian killings and defying military assaults to end a six month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, residents and activists said.

Activists said initial reports indicated that large crowds marched in the city of Homs, where the army and militiamen loyal to Assad raided numerous districts this week, and in Deir al-Zor, which was stormed by tanks last month. Protests were also starting in suburbs of the capital Damascus, the Kurdish northeast, the northwestern province of Idlib near Turkey and in southern Syria.

"People want international protection," read a large banner carrier by protesters who congregated at a square in the southern town of Jiza, according to video footage broadcast by activists.

(Additional reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi; editing by Philippa Fletcher)