Syrian dissidents brace for crackdown after ''massacre''

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Damascus, Jun 7: Syrian dissidents were today (June 7) fearing a harsh crackdown after the authorities warned of a forceful response to what they said was a massacre of 120 policemen in the town of Jisr al-Shughur.

"Scores of military vehicles loaded with soldiers are travelling on the Harasta highway... They are probably headed to Jisr al-Shughur for a new massacre... Please be careful," the Syrian Revolution 2011, an anti-regime Facebook group spurring protests, posted today.

It advised pro-democracy activists in areas facing a crackdown by security forces and "gangs of the regimes" -- especially in the northern Idlib province -- to parry potential assaults by "burning tyres" and "blocking roads with stones and wood."

The group, which plays a central role setting the tone and theme of protests that erupted against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad mid-March, called for fresh protests today. It dubbed it a day "of resurrection."

"The time of treachery is over," the group wrote on its page which has garnered 199,700 supporters online.

"Our revolution is peaceful, we want freedom, dignity and life. We do not endorse any foreign party or organisation," the group wrote.

"We do not call to battle and refuse to bear arms against our brothers in the Syrian army. We call on them to protect us and defend us against the shootings by agents" of the regime.

State television said yesterday the policemen were killed by "armed gangs" but rights activists said there had been a mutiny in the northwest Syria town where security forces had been carrying out operations for three days. 

AFP

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