Friday in Syria is a day of protests, and a day for crackdowns. Today was no different with massive pro-democracy marches nationwide and bloody crackdowns by the military. Reports differ, but the final toll appears to be a minimum of 60 slain, and some putting the toll upwards of 67 in Hama alone.
Hama had been a comparatively calm city over the past two months, but was the center of the massive 1982 protests and crackdown. Today, the city erupted into protests and was met with a predictable crackdown, and was the site of much of the death toll.
And while it has become something of a cliche to point out, the violent crackdowns appear to only be increasing the turnout at the protests. With estimates of over 1,000 killed since the rallies began, they show no signs of slowing.
Which has some analysts predicting a “tipping point” with the protesters winning. Others say that with the military cutting off internet access and digging in, they are close to winning. The reality is that neither side is likely give ground in the near term, and it remains to be seen who will blink first.