Assad Bomb Idlib With Chlorine Gas as UNSC Looks into Evidence of Previous CW Attacks

Activists in Idlib and surrounding areas have reported over 43 civilian suffocation cases after Assad’s air force dropped six barrel bombs, four of which contain poisonous chlorine gas, on residential areas inside the city and in the towns of Tamana’a and Kafr Najd.

Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Nagham al-Ghadiri said that these attacks coincide with a hearing session by the members of the UN Security Council of testimonies on the Assad regime’s use toxic gases in the town of Sarmin in March, which reveals the position of the Assad regime on those meetings and utter disregard for them.

“The Assad regimes’ persistence in using chemical weapons against civilians is due to the UN Security Council’s failure to take deterrent action against the Assad regime. Yesterday’s chlorine attack on Idlib and rest of the Assad regime’s crimes make it imperative for the international community to impose a no-fly zone and establish safe havens in Syria to provide protection for civilians.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 17.04.2015)

Hundreds march for ‘freedom’ in Sudan

Sudanese people living in Egypt shout slogans against Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his government during a protest outside Sudan's embassy in Cairo October 3, 2013.  REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Sudanese people living in Egypt shout slogans against Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his government during a protest outside Sudan’s embassy in Cairo October 3, 2013.

KHARTOUM: Hundreds of men and women marched for “freedom” in the Sudanese capital on Friday despite the deployment of militia, troops and riot police, AFP correspondents reported.

One of the largest rallies occurred in the poor Shambat area of North Khartoum, where several hundred residents marched along the dirt roads between their houses.

They tried to make their way to a large lot but were blocked by uniformed security officers armed with rifles.

“A million martyrs for a new dawn,” they called.

“Freedom! Freedom! Justice! Justice!”

They chanted: “The people want the fall of the regime,” the rallying cry of the 2011 Arab Spring revolts which toppled longtime rulers around the region.

Elsewhere, hundreds demonstrated outside a state security service detention facility, a United Nations source said, adding there had been a number of other peaceful demonstrations.

The protests followed the main weekly Muslim prayers and came in spite of the roundup of hundreds of people after deadly demonstrations last week.

Authorities say 34 people died after petrol and diesel prices jumped on September 23 when the government cut fuel subsidies, sending thousands into the streets in the worst urban unrest of President Omar al-Bashir’s 24-year rule.

Amnesty International says security forces are believed to have killed more than 200 protesters, many with gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

The government said it had to intervene when crowds turned violent, attacking petrol stations and police facilities.

The intensity of protests decreased markedly this week.

In the Wad Nubawi neighbourhood of Khartoum’s twin city Omdurman on Friday, an AFP reporter saw about 10 pickup trucks carrying uniformed militiamen.

One held a gun but most of the men in the back of the light-green and brown vehicles appeared to be armed only with sticks.

Some wore balaclavas over their faces, while others had white headbands.

Parts of the street were blackened from a fire lit during last week’s demonstrations, and a burned-out car sat beside the road.

Riot police trucks were on standby behind the city’s most expensive private hospital, in the Burri district, as up to 100 people rallied outside the home of Salah Sanhouri, a 28-year-old pharmacist gunned down during a protest last week.

“They are surrounded by state security agents,” a witness said.

However, an AFP correspondent who toured several other parts of the Khartoum area found life proceeding normally.

Roadside vendors were selling watermelons, football matches were being played, and people gathered along the banks of the Blue Nile.

On Thursday, independent expert Mashood Adebayo Baderin, who is tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring Sudan, called for “prompt, thorough and impartial investigations” into allegations of the use of excessive force against demonstrators.

He urged Khartoum to charge all those arrested with a recognisable offence or immediately release them.

The government says it arrested about 700 “criminals” after last week’s protests.

But Amnesty International said the real figure appeared to be much higher, with indications “that people are being targeted for arrest for no other reason than they are members of opposition groups, or activists, lawfully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”

(Source / 04.10.2013)