A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bloody Friday in Syria

Al Jazeera and others are now reporting that the death toll in Syria today is at least 75, and that number has been rising as reports are received from around the country. According to Al Jazeera, "Cities and towns with reported protests on Friday include: Damascus, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Tartus, Barzeh, Al Kiswah, Daraa, Baida, Baniyas, Jableh, Al Tabaqa, Al Til, Al Qamishli, Hasakah, Arabeen,  Dayr az Zawr, Tadmur, Abu Kamal, Almoa'addamyya, Salmiyah, and Edlib."

Some collected videos here.

The concessions made this past week (lifting the Emergency Law, abolishing a Security Court, etc.) were accompanied by a government attitude that appeared to be, "Okay, we've reformed, so now stop demonstrating." I think today may prove to be some sort of turning point, but in which direction it's too early to say. The use of live ammunition and the significant death toll are not encouraging.

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