The Syrian regime is acting expectedly as it mows down more people rallying against it. It’s a do or die moment for Assad and the government, they know that their back will be against the wall soon enough if they ease up, and end up, like Mubarak and Co.. So expect even more bloodshed until the rebellion dies, then wait for instances of “reported missing” to crop up as the government rounds up ring leaders and others. KGS

Activists: Syrian army kills 62 in attacks

Associated Press

BEIRUT (Al-AP) — Syrian security forces killed at least 62 people Sunday in an escalation of the crackdown on protests ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, activists and residents said. Most died in raids on the flashpoint city of Hama, where a barrage of shelling and gunfire left bodies scattered in the streets.

Demonstrations calling for President Bashar Assad’s ouster are expected to swell during Ramadan, which starts Monday, in Syria. Security forces appeared to be racing against time as they stormed and raided cities and small villages across the country in an attempt to crush a remarkably resilient uprising that began in mid-March.

Having sealed off the main roads into the opposition stronghold of Hama almost a month ago, army troops in tanks pushed into the city from four sides before daybreak Sunday in a coordinated assault. Residents shouted “God is great!” and threw firebombs, stones and sticks at the tanks. The crackle of gunfire and thud of tank shells echoed across the city, and clouds of black smoke drifted over rooftops.

“It’s a massacre. They want to break Hama before the month of Ramadan,” an eyewitness who identified himself by his first name, Ahmed, told The Associated Press by telephone from Hama, where at least 49 people were killed Sunday.

Hospitals were overwhelmed with casualties and were seeking blood donations, he said.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the attacks against civilians were “all the more shocking” on the eve of Ramadan and appeared to be part of a “coordinated effort to deter Syrians” from protesting during Ramadan.

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