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Forty Killed As Anti-Assad Protests Intensify

Assad forces killed at least 40 as anti-regime protests in Syria enter week 27.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 9/17/2011, 10:02 PM

Syrian Rally
Syrian Rally
Screen Capture

Forty people were killed as Syrian opposition ot the rule of President Bashar Al Assad entered the 27th week on Friday.

The revolution coordination committee marked Friday protests, in which thousands took part, to reiterate the continuity of the revolution till the regime falls, according to its Facebook page.

Bahia Mardini, head of the Arab Council for Protection of Journalists, said she was proud of the resilience shown by the Syrian people who have been facing the brutality of the regime with ‘bare chests'.

"About 3,600 people were killed in six months, with more than 100 of them in the past three days alone.," Mardini said. "The regime turned more violent in the seventh month of the revolution after Al Assad said he would accept the Arab initiative to end the bloody violence."

The latest deaths came after UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for "coherent" global action over Al Assad's deadly response to dissent.

The killings occurred during search and seize operations in Hilfaya near Hama city, Khattab in Hama province, Sarjeh and Kfar Weid in the northwestern region of Jebel Al Zawiya and in Homs. Besides these killings, eight bodies, six in Jebel Al Zawiya and another two in Homs were recovered, reports said.

Also Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his rhetoric against Syrian President Bashar al Assad, saying those in Syria who inflict repression on the people will not survive.

Erdogan, who is visiting the interim rebel government in Libya, told a cheering crowd in Tripoli that ousting Muammar Qaddafi had set an example to others seeking to throw off oppression.

"Do not forget this: those in Syria who inflict repression on the people will not be able to stand on their feet because oppression and prosperity cannot exist together."

But Erdogan came under fire at home for gross inconsistency due to his decision to trade Lieutenant Colonel Hussain Harmoush, a senior Syrian military defector who had crossed into Turkey, to Assad's government in exchange for 9 wanted members of the outlawed Kurdish PPK.

In Washington, a US official said President Barack Obama will discuss the political crisis in Syria and wider turmoil throughout the Middle East in talks in New York on Tuesday with Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.