According to the state news agency, SANA, the deployment of the army and security forces in Dara’a yesterday came in “response to the calls for help from the citizens of Dara’a and their appeal to the Armed Forces as to intervene and put an end to the operations of killings, vandalism, and horrifying by extremist terrorist groups”. By Tuesday they had restored “tranquility, security and normal life to the citizens”, an army source declared.

Amateur footage aired on foreign news channels apparently showed tanks firing shells at residential areas of the city. International news channels have put the death toll at around 25, whereas the government has yet to confirm any civilian deaths, but told Syrian media that there were “wounded from the army and security forces as well as the death and injury for some members of the extremist terrorist groups.”

In response to the perceived “forgery and acts of instigation to destabilise Syria” by foreign media outlets, the government asked the Bar Association to investigate “some mass media and individuals who sought to instigate chaos and disorder in the country.”

An Al-Jazeera TV journalist, Ghassan Ben Jeddo, resigned in part because he said the network “played a suspect role in Syria’s events where it fabricated unreal events and presented false eyewitnesses,” reported SANA.

The border crossing with Jordan remained open yesterday, according to Mustafa al-Bikaii, the head of the Syrian border agency, SANA reported.

However an Al-Jazeera Arabic report from Jordan seemed to confirm that the border with Jordan was closed from the Syrian side, which the Jordanian authorities had told international media throughout the day.

The US followed Britain’s lead in ordering its “non-essential” embassy staff to leave the country, and telling US citizens in Syria to leave by commercial means “while commercial transportation is readily available,” reported Day Press News, a private news agency.

In an interview with Syrian state television, Colette Khoury, a well-known Syrian novelist and -poet, said “nowadays, we pass through a serious stage in Syria. It isn’t a matter of reform, not anymore. It is about Syria and the Syrian people.” Khoury is the granddaughter of former Prime Minister Faris al-Khoury.

In other news, Prime Minister Adel Safar, told Trade Unions the government was studying their demands closely and that ministries would “deal with them in accordance with the general interest and the interests of the working class.”

Syria Today (Syria)