Five protesters were killed by Syrian troops in Dera
on March 18. The protesters flooded the streets of the southern city after
Friday mosque prayers and were met by anti-riot and security forces armed
with firearms and water cannons and supported by helicopters.
Tribal leaders in Dera have warned that they intend to
destroy all military and security facilities unless the Assad regime
withdraws its troops. In their statement, the leaders were not identified.
"If our demands are not met, all security centers in the region,
including Military Security, Political Security, National Security, and Air
Force Security may be burned to the ground," a tribal statement said.
The sources said the Assad regime has been bolstered by both IRGC and
the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah. They said both foreign forces were
providing anti-riot, armored and air support for Assad's military and
Dera marked the bloodiest response by the government to the growing
protest movement in Syria. Other anti-regime demonstrations were reported in
Banias, Damascus and Homs.
The Assad regime has acknowledged the killing of protesters in Dera. The
Interior Ministry has pledged to investigate.