Friday, dubbed the “Day of Defiance” in Syria, has been another day of massive protests, with tens of thousands demonstrating in major cities nationwide following Friday prayers. The city of Homs saw some of the biggest protests, with locals expressing less concern about the crackdowns.
The crackdowns continued, however, and by the end of the day at least 30 people were reported slain in the efforts to stifle dissent. So far, that effort has not dampened the spirits of protesters, who are determined to see the rallies through.
US officials were quick to condemn the crackdown, and said they warranted a “strong international response.” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney threatened “additional steps” against Syria if it continued.
Which is probably more of a hinderance than a help to the protest movement. Already the Assad government has been playing up reports of US funding for the pro-democracy movement in the nation, and given the unpopularity of the US government within Syria, the attempts to associate itself with the movement is likely a bigger drag on recruitment of demonstrators than the threat of violence is.