Damascus, Oct 15 : Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today formed a committee to draft a new constitution within fours months, as activists reported more killings, arrests and gunfire in several cities.
The official SANA news agency said Assad issued a decree establishing a national committee to draft a new constitution in a period “not exceeding four months from the date of its creation.”
The 29-member committee, headed by former justice minister Mizhar al-Annbary, includes Qadri Jamil, a communist member of the so-called “internal opposition” movement.
Mohammed Said Bkheitan, a senior official in the ruling Baath party, said earlier this week the new document would require a two-thirds approval of the Assad-dominated parliament before being submitted to a referendum. A new constitution has been a key demand of a protest movement that erupted on March 15 -- initially calling for greater freedoms and later demanding the ouster of the Assad regime.
Activists, meanwhile, reported at least three people killed today by security forces.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a members of its network, Ziad Rafiq al-Obeidi, was killed by security forces in Deir Ezzor. He had gone into hiding in August during military operations in the area.
In Homs, a hotbed of dissent, the Syrian army backed by armoured vehicles cordoned off and stormed several neighbourhoods, including Qusayr and Warsheh, which were rocked by heavy gunfire, said the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), an anti-regime activist network.
The Britain-based Observatory, quoting activists,confirmed security force operations in Homs.