Syrian intellectuals and academics met in Damascus on Monday to seek a way out of the country’s current political crisis. As many 200 people were there including, according to reports, some government supporters.
Opposition figures were quoted by news agencies as saying the regime must be toppled and replaced with a real democracy. However, some activists pulled out at the last minute, citing doubts over the event’s credibility.
Meanwhile, foreign journalists have been allowed for the first time into Jisr al-Shughour. The town was the scene of deadly clashes earlier this month which prompted thousands of people to flee to Turkey.
One British television channel accessed various sites under the supervision of the Syrian government. It spoke to local residents about the violence that left 100 security personnel dead. Neither side disputes that figure, although they differ on who is responsible.
The government says extremists disguised as protesters were behind the clashes. Activists say troops fought army mutineers who refused to open fire on the protesters.