At least 27 people have been killed in protests across Syria. As the wave of rallies spread after Friday prayers, people on the streets vowed to make it a ‘Day of Defiance’. The government and security forces cracked down on the demonstrators who are demanding an end to President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. However, the Syrian government claims it is taking decisive action against terrorists and criminals.
Human rights groups reported the killing of protesters in several cities, including Homs where at least 15 died. More than 500 people are believed to have been killed since mid-March.
The President’s harsh response has drawn international criticism. The European Union will impose a travel ban and asset freezes on 13 of the country’s senior figures. The White House has warned it will take ‘additional steps’ against the Syrian government if the violence continues.