While supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have taken to the streets in his support, protests against his regime gained new ground on Saturday, and there was more shooting of unarmed protesters by security forces.
Two people were killed in Latakia in the north, after four others were shot dead on Friday. It is an important port and Bashar’s summer residence. There are reports the army entered the city on Saturday night. Protest here marks a new upturn in unrest, after over a week of anger in the south.
Until now the focus of protest and repression, which has claimed over 100 lives in a week, has been in Deraa, nearby Tafas and Sanamein. Now there are stirrings in Hama, the centre of a bloody revolt against Bashar’s father 29 years ago, and even demonstrations in the capital Damascus.
Deraa has suffered the most casualties, and funerals of the latest to be killed were at the centre of Saturday’s marches.