DAMASCUS: Syrian security forces rounded up thousands of men as they went house to house in a bid to crush an anti-regime protest movement in the coastal city of Banias Monday, as shots rang out in a Damascus suburb surrounded by troops, activists said.
The European Union meanwhile said an arms embargo and sanctions against 13 Syrian officials deemed responsible for the regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters would come into force Tuesday.
And the United Nations complained that Syrian authorities blocked one of its teams from entering the southern town of Daraa, epicenter of the protests, and voiced concern for the plight of Palestinian refugees there.
Protest organizers called for a day of solidarity Tuesday with “prisoners of conscience” held in Syrian jails, according to a statement by the Syrian Revolution 2011, an Internet-based opposition group.
Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said water, electricity and telephone lines were cut off in Banias, on Syria’s northwest Mediterranean coast.