Nightly News | April 27, 2011
>>> in syria tonight, the situation took another serious turn as president assad send tanks into the streets of a damascus suborn and 200 members of the ruling baath party quit their posts in protest. as you may know, this is tough to get in there and cover. syria has cut off media access. richard engle is monitoring this situation from libya. good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. despite threats of a u.n. investigation and growing international condemnation, this crackdown in syria by bashar assad 's regime shows no signs of letting up. the syrian army has mobilized to crush the biggest internal threat to the syrian regime in decades. witnesses say troops and tanks have fanned out in damascus, reenforcements have moved into dara, the center of the protests. these unverified images show armed men, apparently soldiers. syria remains closed off to most journalists. one syrian cameraman fled to neighboring jordan. the videos on his laptop show protesters tearing down images of the serious president and police beating protesters. via skype, we spoke to an activist in syria .
>> you can hear shooting, voices calling for help. no food, no water. because they targeted the water tanks. many dead bodies in the street, and the people cannot get them from the street because the shooting.
>> reporter: and in syria , past crackdowns still cast a long shadow. in 1982 , bashar's father violently put down a revolt by muslim activists in the city of homa. an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 people were killed. that crackdown by the syrian president 's father was one of the deadliest acts of repression in the history of the modern arab world . there are fears now of a similar atrocity taking place, and that's why there's so much concern.
>> richard, thank you for that.