At least 17 people are reported dead as anti-government rallies continue across Syria on Friday. France and Germany spearhead UN condemnation and EU sanction efforts against President Bashar Assad.
Anti-government demonstrations continued calling for President Bashar Assad’s removal.
According to reports from Al Jazeera and Haaretz, activists with the Local Coordination Committees of Syria who record demonstration events, said that nine people were killed in Homs, including one policeman, as well as two people in Damascus.
A teen was also reportedly killed in Dael, a southern village close to the city of Dara’a.
Security forces were reportedly firing on protesters to disperse rallies killing multiple civilians in Baniyas, a coastal city to the north-east, one source told the AFP. The exact number of casualties is unknown.
One civilian was killed in Aleppo after security forces shot at several hundred demonstrators in the city's center, according to Ammar Qurabi, a Syrian human rights activist.
Aleppo, a commercial city in the north, has been relatively free of demonstrations since the uprising erupted three months ago.
New demonstrations were also reported across the country following Friday morning prayers, in areas including Hama, Dara’a, Deir al-Zour, and Jableh.
More than 1,300 civilians and 300 security forces (soldiers and police) have been killed since the protests began in March, according to Syrian rights groups. Approximately 10,000 people have been detained by Syrian security forces.
In Turkey, local authorities said approximately 1,200 Syrian refugees arrived overnight in the southern province of Hatay on Friday, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees to 9,700.
Reuters reported that France and Germany are calling for tougher sanctions against Syrian officials responsible for “intolerable and unacceptable actions”. The two countries, as well as Britain and Portugal, are currently in the midst of drafting a United Nations resolution condemning the violence.
Following talks with Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the two countries plan to discuss the matter with Russia, which holds veto power in the U.N. Security Council.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Assad to halt the crackdown on demonstrators to end the bloodshed.