Amateur video has captured the violence between Syrian security forces and pro-democracy protesters.
Eleven days of clashes have killed dozens in the city of Deraa which is a bastion of Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority. They resent the elite Alawite minority to which Syria’s ruling family belongs.
The protests have spread to at least two other towns and pose a serious challenge to President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
But despite the unrest the president has received the backing of other Arab leaders plus a visit from a Cypriot delegation.
Critics of the protesters have denounced the sectarian nature of their calls for reform.
Assad has promised to address the nation soon in which he may decide to end 47 years of emergency rule.