Beirut: Dozens of soldiers and security forces
were gunned down by suspected army defectors in southern Syria, a deadly ambush that comes as President Bashar Assad increasingly appears unable to manage the crisis, activists
Yesterday`s hours-long clash in the southern province of
Daraa came on a particularly bloody day in Syria, with as many
as 90 people killed across the country. The brazen attack by
the army defectors suggested a new confidence among troops who
have sided with the protesters and highlighted the potential
for an armed confrontation to escalate.
The UN estimates the regime`s military crackdown on an
8-month-old uprising has killed 3,500 people in the past eight
months. November is shaping up to be the bloodiest month of
the revolt, with well over 300 people killed so far.
The latest death toll was compiled by sources including
British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Local
Coordination Committees activist coalition and morgue
Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the observatory, confirmed that
34 soldiers were killed in an ambush in Daraa, the birthplace
of the uprising that began in mid-March, inspired by
successful revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and later Libya.
Although activists say the protests have remained largely
peaceful, with demonstrators calling for the regime`s
downfall, an armed insurgency has developed in recent months
targeting Assad`s military and security forces.