Security forces opened fire on hundreds of youths in the outskirts of Deraa on Wednesday, witnesses said, after nearly a week of protests in which seven civilians had already died. The main hospital in Deraa, near the Jordanian border, had received the bodies of at least 37 protesters killed on Wednesday, a hospital official said. That brings the number killed to at least 44 in a week of protests.
Deraa was known in the Old Testament as Edrei. See Numbers 22:32-33: "And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there. / And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei."