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Syrian Troops Shell Villages: Civil War Looming In Nation
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Syrian Troops Shell Villages: Civil War Looming In Nation

The Arab League voted to suspend Syria from membership, extending a deadline for the nation to come to some kind of peaceful plan to end the bloody crackdown against protesters there. NATO estimates that at least 3500 people have died since President Bashar al Assad announced a strict crackdown. That number could be dramatically higher, though, fear human rights groups because in addition to the crackdowns, Assad has banned all foreign media outlets from Syria.

Syrian troops that remain loyal to Assad fired shells and other weapons in two villages and farmlands over night, retaliation for alleged attacks by army defectors. For the most part, the protests in Syria have remained fairly quiet and peaceful, calling for Assad to step down from power. But, in recent weeks, a growingly restless insurgency has appeared, arming themselves against troops that are reportedly firing on protest groups by order of Assad. Nearly ten villagers were reportedly injured in those overnight attacks, lasting nearly three hours.

Officials have noted that electricity and internet services have been cut off in most of Syria, reports that again cannot be verified by outside sources. Hospitals, speaking anonymously have reported that troops and defectors have been treated for injuries in increasing numbers.

Syria's official news source have spun the attacks as troops carrying out specific operations in the area. Nearly sixty people were arrested in those operations, with troops seizing weapons including rifles and bomb making equipment. The news also reported that of those arrests, eight of the "most wanted terrorists" were included but provided no details.

Syria is blaming the increased violence on other sources, namely foreign armed groups and have alleged that those groups have killed thousands of the country's soldiers and police officers, echoing the claims by the late Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi who blamed violence in his country on foriegn groups. Arab and most Western countries are pushing for Assad to step down from power, peacefully. Russia remains its one foreign supporter at this point and is still urging the nation to negotiate a deal that would avoid further blood shed and prevent what experts are calling "looming and inevitable" civil war. Russia has a number of interests within Syria's borders, including troops, a naval base and some major oil concessions there.

The Arab League has been pressing Assad to take steps to meet the peace plan that had previously been agreed on but his repeated failure has left the member nations little other option.


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