AMMAN Jul 31 Syrian forces have arrested Sheikh
Nawaf al-Bashir, head of the main Baqqara tribe in rebellious
Deir al-Zor province and a prominent figure in the campaign
against President Bashar al-Assad, opposition sources told
Reuters on Sunday.
Secret police agents arrested Bashir, who commands the
loyalty of an estimated 1.2 million Baqqara, in Ein Qirsh
district of Damascus on Saturday afternoon, they said.
Hours before his arrest Bashir told Reuters he was striving
to stop armed resistance to a military assault on the provincial
capital of Deir al-Zor and to convince inhabitants to stick to
peaceful methods, despite killings by security forces.
(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom)