Ban Ki Moon

Four protestors were said to have been killed on Sunday in the northwestern city of Banias whilst nine soldiers were reported killed in an ambush on a military convoy in the city. Receiving treatment at al-Basel hospital in Tartous were 46 civilians and soldiers, reported Al-Wattan newspaper. The influential newspaper reported hospitals and army check-points were also targeted by militants. In Tishreen newspaper an official source is quoted as saying that security forces continue to pursue the group that fired on the army and civilians.

The army and security forces have reportedly surrounded the port city, according to international news agencies. A number of civilians were reported injured when gunmen opened fire near Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Mosque on Friday.

In other news President al-Assad met with the families of 17 killed protesters from Douma on Saturday and granted the dead the status of “martyrs”, which bestows “moral and financial rights” upon their families, says Al-Wattan. The paper reports Assad also sanctioned the release of 191 detained demonstrators. The President also met with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, today. Syrian state news said that Mladenov “underlined the importance of Syria’s security and stability, voicing Bulgaria’s backing to the reforms carried out by the Syrian leadership” as he did the Bulgarian foreign ministry website led with the title “Violence in Syria must cease.”

United Nations chief Ban Ki Moon said in a telephone call to Assad that he was “greatly disturbed” by reports of deaths and injuries in Syria last Friday, reports Al-Wattan Online. Assad said that the deaths are unacceptable and must be subject to investigation.

A man was arrested near the engineering faculty building of Damascus University after attempting to remove women’s headscarves whilst an accomplice filmed it on his mobile telephone.

Meanwhile the Arab League has adopted a Syrian plan to push for an air embargo of Israel over Gaza following increasing attacks on the coastal city, which have claimed a number of lives in recent days.

Syria Today (Syria)