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Monday, August 8, 2011

SYRIAN BRUTAL CRACKDOWN: Saudi Arabia calls for Syrian reforms!

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Arab League has said it is "alarmed" by the situation in Syria and called for an end to violence [Reuters/YouTube.

King Abdullah recalls ambassador from Damascus as activists report renewed artillery fire in the city of Deir ez-Zor.

Saudi Arabia's king has condemned a brutal crackdown on protests in Syria, recalling the country's ambassador to Damascus and calling on the Syrian government to implement political reforms.

"What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia," King Abdullah said in a written statement on Monday.

"Syria should think wisely before it's too late and issue and enact reforms that are not merely promises but actual reforms," he said. "Either it chooses wisdom on its own or it will be pulled down into the depths of turmoil and loss."

The Saudi monarch's comments came a day after the Gulf Co-operation Council urged Syria to "end the bloodshed" and the Arab League, which had been silent since the uprising began, said it was "alarmed" by the situation and called for the immediate halt of all violence.

Later in the day, Kuwait announced it had decided to recall its ambassador from Damascus for "consultations".

"No one can accept the bloodshed in Syria... The military option must be halted," Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah told reporters.

Hours after the statement from the Saudi king, Syrian activists said the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor came under new artillery fire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that security forces had shot dead a mother and her two children fleeing the assault.

"The woman and her two children were trying to flee the Huweika district  for somewhere safer when they were targeted by a security patrol," the group said, citing residents.

Other activists said security forces carried out search operations, arresting a number of people, after using heavy machine guns.

"The army opened up with heavy machine guns on al-Joura district. Security forces then launched a search sweep, terrorising residents," AFP quoted an activist in the city as saying.

Troops also entered Maarat an-Numan in the northern province of Idlib at dawn on Monday, according to opposition activists.

"Forces entered the city from its eastern side and they are preventing the residents from entering or leaving the city,'' the Local Co-ordination Committees said in a statement.

Bloody week

Some activists say more than 300 people have died in the past week, the bloodiest in the uprising against Assad.

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