Violence over? 14 killed in Syrian crackdown

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Violence over? 14 killed in Syrian crackdown

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have pledged that his crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators was over, but new amateur footage from Damascus purportedly filmed in the last 36 hours, tells a different story.

The video shows protesters responding to gunfire by throwing stones, most likely at government troops.

Activists say security forces killed 15 protesters during marches following Friday prayers.

The shooting broke out in the southern province of Deraa, where the five-month uprising against Assad began.

Activists said five others,including two children, were shot dead in a town just south of the capital.

In Damascus, hundreds of protesters donned masks in red white and black – the colours of the Syrian flag on Friday.

Their banners appealed to government troops to think of their own families before shooting at demonstrators

Commentators said that despite calls by Washington and Brussels for Assad to step down, there is very little chance that they will back that up with military action similar to NATO’s response in Libya.

US and European sanctions are seen as more likely to work as it becomes clear the violent crackdown is unlikely to cease anytime soon.