Syrian Tanks Move South as Massive Friday Rallies Expected

Regime Says Troops Chasing 'Terrorists,' Not Protesters

The Syrian tanks which have been shelling demonstrations around the city of Homs have reportedly begun to move further south today. The tanks are heading toward a number of key southern towns ahead of what is expected to be a key Friday for protesters.

That is because Syrian officials have downplayed the seriousness of the protests, saying they have the situation more or less under control. That confidence has made this Friday, normally the biggest day of protests in the nation, a key test.

Indeed, though the tanks are clearly aimed at intimidating the demonstrators, who have been under siege for weeks, the Syrian government insisted that the deployment had nothing to do with the rallies but was instead aimed at chasing “terrorists” in the south.

Syria’s rallies started two months ago, with tiny rallies in the southern city of Daraa. As those rallies were met with crackdowns, the demonstrations escalated and spread, and now tens of thousands regularly take to the streets nationwide.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.