The usual Friday protests took on a different perspective today in Syria, with yesterday’s death of Moammar Gadhafi fueling predictions of a similar fate for Bashar Assad.
“Your turn is coming, Bashar,” protesters chanted. As usual the protests were met with violent crackdowns from the regime’s security forces, with at least 24 protesters killed, including 19 in the city of Homs.
Enthusiasm has tended to grow in protest cities when other regimes fall, and while the situation in Syria isn’t the same as the one in Libya, the causes are largely the same. The protesters are hoping the end result will be too, though ideally without the multi-month civil war and the post-dictator mess Libya is facing.
The death of Gadhafi seems also to be adding support internationally to the Syrian National Council (SNC), the exile group advocating a foreign military invasion. Many domestic protesters oppose foreign intervention, fearing they would just install a replacement regime instead of allowing free elections.