Anti-government protests in Syria are nearing the two-month mark. After initially hinting at compromises, President Bashar al-Assad now appears to favor using force to crush the demonstrations. Last weekend saw an escalation of government forces in cities across Syria.
In a speech to the Syrian nation today, President Bashar al-Assad said foreign conspiracies, media distortions and the hand of Israel are to blame for uprisings in his country. The Syrian protests have resulted in at least 60 deaths, according to human rights groups.
Security forces in Syria are reported to have fired teargas and shots in the air as anti-government protests flared again in the southern city of Daraa. The unrest follows clashes in Latakia over the weekend that killed at least 12 people.
When small protests began in Damascus, Syria in February, many observers believed Syria was unlikely to see the kind of revolutions that Egypt or Tunisia experienced. But now the movement appears to have picked up steam.