Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Syria: Defecting Soldiers Join Ranks With Protesters As Iran Grows Increasingly Concerned Over Syrian Allies

Syria: Defecting Soldiers Join Ranks With Protesters As Iran Grows Increasingly Concerned Over Syrian Allies

By Ariel Zirulnick – “A string of defections from the Syrian Army has given protesters armed forces of their own who clashed with government forces Friday in the town of Rastan, signaling the end of the protesters’ insistence that the uprising remain totally unarmed.

According to BBC, at least 1,000 army deserters and other armed men clashed with government forces in Rastan, a little more than 100 miles north of Damascus, in the last few days. Reuters reports that, according to the Syrian Revolution General Commission, the last few days of clashes – which included tank fire from government forces – killed 41 people in Rastan.

The Syrian Revolution General Commission, an umbrella for several activist groups, said that the figure was an estimate, with communications cut with the besieged town.

While clashes continued in Rastan, the US Ambassador to Syria came under attack in Damascus for the second time since protests began in March. Regime supporters hurled tomatoes and rocks at Ambassador Robert Ford, who has been a vocal critic of the Syrian regime.” Read more.

Iran to Syria: Save regime and preserve alliance – “Two weeks after Egypt’s uprising swept aside Hosni Mubarak, the presidents of Iran and Syria stood side by side in Damascus in a blunt message to the Arab Spring: The Syrian regime can count on its allies in Tehran. Seven months later — and after at least 2,700 deaths in Syria — Iran is tweaking its big brother role for Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Iranian leaders are now urging him to consider talks with protesters or risk heading down a path with few escape routes. It’s Tehran’s version of tough love: Pressing Assad to do what it takes to stay in power and preserve one of Iran’s most important relationship in the Middle East.” Read more.

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