Syria – 17 Protesters Killed, Heavy Gunfire and Explosions Reported

Stop Fundamentalism – Syrian Activists say 17 protesters have been killed in clashes when army opened fire on demonstrators in various regions of the country. Most heavily hit was the city of Rastan in Homs province where at least 14 protesters died Wednesday, say Syrian Human Rights Observers. 

Reports indicate that the Syrian army has stepped up its operation in the Homs province and heavy gunfire and explosions can be heard in various areas.

The Human Rights Observers also report that three defecting soldiers died in clashes with the Syrian army.

Military personnel defecting more and more from the Bashar Al-Assad’s army are now calling themselves “The Syrian Free Army.” With the passage of six month since the protests started and death of over 2700 people, international observers worry that peaceful protests are showing signs of an armed resistance being born. 

A Syrian activist told reporters that the regime is killing the people and some are coming to realize that peaceful demonstration will not lead to any change even if they continue for 10 more years.

The government officials are accuses of killing a nuclear specialist Awaz Abdul Karim Khalil, an Engineering Professor at the University of Baath in Homs. He was killed yesterday morning by unknown attackers, says the Syrian Human Rights Observer.  He was shot in the head when being dropped off at his work by his wife.

Two more university scientific members were also assassinated in the same manner Tuesday.

On the international scene Turkey is now preparing to impose sanctions on Syrian regime in a few days, said Reuters yesterday.   The sanctions aim to affect the military and banking industries in Syria and its energy sector.   Turkey has housed over seven thousand Syrian refugees since the protests broke out in March.