At least 20 people were killed today nationwide in Syria as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of every major city demanding the ouster of President Bashar Assad. The protests today also focused on international ambivalence about the situation.
Friday protests have been a constant in Syria over the past five months, with each Friday bringing a bigger demonstration than the last, and violence crackdowns against the pro-democracy rallies producing little more than bigger protests the following week.
That may pick up with the start of Ramadan next week, as demonstration leaders are promising nightly rallies throughout the entire month, lasting until dawn. The pledge has led the regime to add troop numbers near mosques in the south.
Syrian government statements did not address the casualties among protesters, but claimed a border policeman was killed by demonstrators near Iraq and that “saboteurs” bombed an oil pipeline near Homs.