Demonstrators in the southern Syrian city of Sweida, where demonstrations against poor living conditions in Syria have been taking place every day for almost a month, have been shot at.
This happened from an office of the ruling Ba’ath Party. Dozens of protesters preparing to storm the building were fired upon by security guards. Three people were reported to have suffered minor injuries.
The demonstration then continued, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors developments in the country from Great Britain.
The demonstrations started as a protest against deteriorating living conditions: food and fuel prices continue to rise, especially since fuel subsidies have been abolished.
In return, civil servants’ salaries were increased by 100 percent, but this further fueled inflation. The currency, the Syrian pound, is worth virtually nothing anymore.
But it is about much more: there are also calls for the release of political prisoners and justice. The demonstrators are dissatisfied with the corruption and interference of Russia and Iran in their country and have gradually started to demand the departure of the regime.
Those who take to the streets are predominantly Druze, a religious minority whose men do not have to serve in the army. The condition is that they refrain from criticizing the regime and therefore do not demonstrate.
But the demonstrators in Sweida no longer care about that. Until now, the regime has looked the other way during these demonstrations: the great dissatisfaction does not appear to be a direct threat to President Assad, who has held power in a large part of the country for years.
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