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In the News
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06-07-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

After 300,000 protestors took to the streets of Hama in reportedly peaceful protest on Friday July 1, and thousands of others demonstrated in towns across the country, it seems the Syrian protest movement is now gaining critical mass. Nevertheless, while members of the opposition grow increasingly organized, the chasm between older dissidents and young protestors widens. The date set by President al-Assad for the start of the National Dialogue - July 10 - is rapidly approaching, yet many members of the opposition refuse to participate. The stalemate between the government and the protestors drags on, with the economy in tatters and growing concern that anticipated unrest during the upcoming month of Ramadan will bring the country to its knees.

In the News
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29-06-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

In a development hailed as a sign of change in Syria by some, and deemed a mere PR exercise of the Syrian government by others, Syrian opposition met for the first time in public in Damascus on Monday June 27. The same day, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad set July 10, 2011 as the start date for national dialogue, stating that participation would be open to all "national and political figures". Simultaneously, however, violence continued across the country. Another 15 people died in unrest on June 24 as thousands continued to flow across the border into Turkey and Lebanon. Meanwhile, the diplomatic spotlight remains firmly on Turkey, with many continuing to view its response to the turmoil in Syria, as the ultimate indicator of its future role in the region.

In the News
 | 
22-06-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made his third address to the nation since the start of the unrest on March 15. The President attributed the country's unrest to conspirators and proclaimed the economic crisis as Syria's most pressing problem. Protestors continued to take to the streets throughout the week, irregardless of reforms either implemented or forthcoming. An estimated 24 died in anti-government protests across the country on Friday June 17. At the same time, hundreds of thousands came out in Damascus and a number of locations across the country on Tuesday June 21, in a show of support for the government. As the crisis stretches into the summer, Syria's frustrated populace is becoming increasingly polarized. 
 

In the News
 | 
16-06-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

The death toll from the unrest in Syria now exceeds an estimated 1,400. Tensions across the country continue to mount as talk of sectarian strife and impending civil war increasingly dominate local and international commentary on the crisis. Growing numbers of Syrians have sought refuge in neighboring Turkey, with official Turkish estimates putting the figure at around 8,500. Many fear that tensions between Syria's religious communities, which have lived in relative balance for decades, will seep into Turkey and Lebanon, thus catalyzing the large-scale destabilization of the surrounding region. 

In the News
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08-06-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

Protests across Syria on Friday June 3 were among the most violent thus far in the country's near 12 weeks of revolutionary unrest. The death toll from Friday sits at over 80, with between 40 and 60 people killed in the central city of Hama alone. In a foreboding development, violence worsened in the days that followed, as the northern city of Jisr al-Shughour became the scene of an alleged massacre of police and military forces - with estimates suggesting that more than 120 were killed in the city on Monday. To date, over 1,300 Syrians have died in the country's turmoil since March 15. Protracted conflict in Syria has undoubtedly begun and as grim videos and accounts of the last week of unrest seep across the internet and out into the international media, contradictory accounts of the nature - and perpetrators - of the violence only prompt more dismay, outrage and confusion across the country.

In the News
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03-06-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

The Syrian protest movement appears both resilient and increasingly skilled. Though its numbers are still dwarfed by those found in Egypt in Tunisia only months ago, it is nevertheless spreading to a growing number of locales across Syria. On the Friday May 27 alone, protestors gathered in 91 cities, towns and villages across the country. Syrian opposition outside of the country has also become more organized, holding a controversial organizational conference in Turkey this week amid mixed international and local reception. At the same time, two well-respected rights groups, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, issued troubling reports on the management of the unrest in Syria, while reports emerged on May 31, that protestors in Homs had taken up weapons to fight against Syrian security forces. Turkey, arguably the international community's greatest hope for inspiring a reduction of tensions and violence in Syria, has failed in its efforts to bring Damascus in from the fray.
In the News
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24-05-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

An extreme resurgence of after-prayers violence on Friday May 20, in conjunction with stalled government efforts to engage in constructive dialogue with members of the Syrian opposition, suggest few alternatives to a long, hot summer of continued tumult across the country. The US and EU have now both placed direct sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and US President Barack Obama has formally expressed the hardened view that President Assad must reform, or go. However, no such outside force appears to hold sway with the Syrian government. In the meantime as of Tuesday May 24, a well-respected rights group puts the civilian death toll since March 15 at a shocking 1,062 - a figure that does not include fatalities among Syrian security and military forces. 

In the News
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18-05-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

The deadlock between the Syrian government and those fomenting unrest across the country continues, as protestors continue to take to the streets, albeit in vastly lower numbers, and more civilians and members of Syrian security personnel perish in the violence. International condemnation of the Syrian government's response to the crisis seems to have reached a near tipping point, with many speculating that it will not be long before the EU imposes targeted sanctions against the Syrian President himself.
Society
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16-05-2011

One of the most interesting features of the Syrian protest movement is the prominent role women have been taking in it.

In the News
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12-05-2011

Syria's Protest Movement

While the numbers of protestors out on the streets declined markedly over the course of the last week, violence and turmoil continue to intensify. The Syrian military is deployed to a number of hotspots across the country, including Homs, Daraa, Baniyas and some Damascus suburbs.