Hints at Reform as Massive Syria Protests Loom

Friday Declared 'Day of Martyrs' by Syrian Protesters

Though Bashar Assad’s Wednesday speech made no real mention of reforms, the Syrian government is said to be making its first steps, however minor, toward addressing some of the many demands that the massive protest movement has.

The state news agency announced that Assad had ordered a judicial committee to “study” the idea of lifting the “emergency law” which has been imposed on the nation since the 1962 Ba’athist takeover.

Though Syria was somewhat late in the game for the protester revolts, the movement has grown quickly, spurred by anger over violent crackdowns in the southern city of Daraa. Earlier this week, the cabinet also resigned.

With few concrete moves so far, the protest movement is pressing forward, with Friday declared the “Day of Martyrs” across Syria. It is expected to be greeted by the largest protests the nation has seen yet.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.