Protesters' arrest in Syria continues, as US mulls future without al-Assad
Azerbaijan , Baku, Sept. 21 / Trend A. Isgandarov /
Syrian security forces continued Wednesday a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters across the country, amid reports that the United States expects the fall of President Bashar al-Assad ,dpa reported.
"More than 20 people were arrested in the early hours of the morning in the central province of Homs as the government thugs continued their random arrests of the free people of Syria," said a Syrian activist based in Lebanon who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He added that Syrian residents in the area of Kiswe just south of the capital Damascus said that security forces had blocked all roads leading to the area and that some 40 vehicles transporting troops were positioned there.
In a related development, the Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group that has been organizing the daily protests in Syria, announced support for the Syrian Interim National Council, which was established in Turkey last week.
"Despite some reservations over the way in which it was formed," the LCC said it backed the National Council, which has set as its objective supporting all Syrians, "whatever their leanings or ethnicity, to overthrow the regime in Syria."
Security forces have killed 2,700 people, including at least 100 children, since the protests began in Syria in mid-March, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Wednesday that the United States was increasingly convinced that al-Assad's regime would fall.
It added that Washington was quietly working with Turkey to plan for a post-al-Assad future in Syria.
"There's a real consensus that he's beyond the pale and over the edge," the Times quoted a senior official in US President Barack Obama's administration as saying. "Intelligence services say he's not coming back."