Syrian Forces Tighten Grip On Residents Of Homs

May 10, 2011
Originally published on May 10, 2011 8:21 am
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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And Kelly, what more are people telling you about what's happening there in Syria?

KELLY MCEVERS: Another man told us that people who even try to hang their laundry out their windows, from second-floor windows, get shot at. He says that schools are closed, the province is basically paralyzed. They're running out of bread and salt, basics.

MONTAGNE: And, Kelly, it does sound like the crackdown is intensifying.

MCEVERS: Phone lines are being cut. Internet connections are being are being cutoff. Even satellite phones now are being jammed. This, of course, is troubling, because this has been the main way for the opposition to get information out, you know, through Skype calls and uploaded videos. Without that, the world will have no idea what's going on inside Syria.

MONTAGNE: And the government, what does it say it's doing?

MCEVERS: Of course, activists say the security approach to the problem is no way to solve it. There's no way you can occupy an entire country. You know, security forces might move into a few cities, but with then once they leave, the protests continue popping up. So at some point, activists say there's going to have to be something beyond the security solution. There'll have to be a political solution.

MONTAGNE: Although one wonders if a political solution is likely at this point.

MCEVERS: Yeah, I mean, the Syrian government says - the same spokeswoman says that, you know, the government's been reaching out to the opposition. But they're mainly talking to the so-called sort of old guard, opposition figures who've been around for a long time and who've always kind of been willing to work within the system.

H: Either way, it's really not a pretty picture.

MONTAGNE: Thanks very much.

MCEVERS: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.