August 19, 2011- Despite President al-Assad’s assurances that his extreme crackdown on dissent had ended, Syrian forces killed another 14 and thousands of protestors continued to march throughout the country. Protestors have been spurred on in the last 48 hours because of European and U.S. officials calling for al-Assad to step down.
Much of the recent violence has occurred in Deraa, a southern province where the original uprising took place over five months ago against the president. United Nations investigators have said they think crimes against humanity may have occurred in the latest rounds of killing by Syrian forces.
Some protestors were chanting that they would see al-Assad in The Hague, in reference to him standing trial for international infractions. Syrian forces killed five people that included two small children south of Damascus in Ghabaghab. And another eight protestors were killed in the towns of Hirak and Inkhil while one was killed in the town of Bab Amro.
Syrian television run by the state announced that those killed in Ghabaghab were from a gunman that attacked police killing a policeman and civilian and injuring two others. Syria has expelled a number of independent media over the last five months since the unrest began. Because of this verifying some of the reports have been difficult. The United Nations says that over 2,000 have been killed since the protests started.