In Syria the security forces have stepped up their brutal crackdown against protesters, using a helicopter to kill at least 13 people in Rastan.
Despite the regime’s efforts to quell the demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad, public opinion has been inflamed by the government’s kidnapping, torture and murder of a 13-year- old boy last week and the protests continue.
The ‘Conference for Change in Syria’ which is being held in Turkey is attempting to monitor developments in Syria. International journalists have been excluded from the country.
Ammar Qurabi, who heads the National Organisation for Human Rights in Syria, said: “From Friday until now we focused on the violence in Homs and southern cities like Rastan. Now we have developments in this violence because for the first time the Syrian authorities have used helicopters to fire live rounds against protesters. That happened on Friday.”
The conference has called for President Assad to step down immediately.
Outside however, several dozen Assad supporters held a rally in support of the president.