SYRIA

Thousands Defy Government Crackdown

At least 12 people were killed by Syrian security forces on Friday, the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Thousands marched in defiance of the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown in Hama, where more than 100 people have reportedly been killed in 24 hours. The number of deaths have been difficult to verify since Syrian authorities have refused to allow media into the country. The Syrian government said “armed terrorist gangs” were responsible for the violence, and state media reported army units were removing “roadblocks set up by terrorist groups that have blocked roads and damaged public and private property, including police stations, using various weapons.”