Syria Live Blog
Syria - May 20, 2011 - 14:19
AFP reports that hundreds of pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets in Ain Arab, a mainly Kurdish region near Aleppo, chanting "No to violence, yes to dialogue" and "We are not Islamists or Salafists, we want freedom".
The news agency was getting its information from Radif Mustapha, the head of a Kurdish human rights group, via telephone.
"No one is calling for the downfall of the regime," he said, as the demonstrators could be overheard shouting "azadi, azadi" or "freedom" in Kurdish.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that thousands of men, women and children are on the streets of Baniyas, calling for freedom and the lifting of a siege on several cities by security forces. SOHR says many of the men were marching bare-chested, in an attempt to prove that they were unarmed.
Hassan Berro, an activist, told AFP that protests were also taking place in Qamishli, Amuda and Derbasiyeh.
Berro said that security forces were not intervening to stop those protests at this point.