Hundreds of Syrian women marched along the country’s main coastal highway today to protest the government’s security crackdown, Reuters reports.The women are demanding the release of 350 men arrested Tuesday during violent raids by Syria’s secret police in Baida.
The Syrian military also cracked down in the nearby city of Baniyas Tuesday, setting up military checkpoints around the city in response to anti-government protests that rocked the country over the weekend.
The White House condemned the violence, responding to Tuesday’s Human Rights Watch report that said Syrian security forces have blocked protesters from getting medical treatment. The Obama administration has so far been restrained in its comments on the political upheaval in Syria
We are deeply concerned by reports that Syrians who have been wounded by their government are being denied access to medical care. The escalating repression by the Syrian government is outrageous, and the United States strongly condemns the continued efforts to suppress peaceful protesters. President Assad and the Syrian government must respect the universal rights of the Syrian people, who are rightly demanding the basic freedoms that they have been denied.
As the WSJ notes today, the U.S. has taken a selective approach to the political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, stopping short of calling for regime change in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.