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Syria activists pledge to remain steadfast | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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DAMASCUS (AFP) – Opponents of the Syrian regime pledged Wednesday to remain steadfast in their “revolution” by holding demonstrations across the country, as they said the army encircled several protest centres.

“We must continue our peaceful revolution throughout Syria until we achieve the freedom we demand,” said a statement from the committee coordinating the anti-government protests in a string of cities.

They include the besieged cities of Daraa, the epicentre of protests south of Damascus, Banias on the Mediterranean coast and the central industrial city of Homs.

Activists hit out at the escalating crackdown against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

At least 500 people are being arrested every day on average, the committee’s statement obtained by AFP said.

Anti-regime protesters called for permanent sit-ins across the country from Tuesday.

The civilian death toll from the unprecedented demonstrations in Syria has already topped 607, according to the Insan human rights group.

Assad’s government has persistently blamed the violence on “armed criminal gangs” and has portrayed the protest movement as a conspiracy.