A massive military operation is reportedly underway to crush the seeds of revolt that have grown in Syria. The city of Hama has been under virtual siege for a month, but now the tanks are said to be moving in.
As always in Syria, it is difficult to get an accurate picture of what is going on. But locals say at least 95 people have been killed and scores more injured.
Across the country, its claimed 121 people have died in this latest action. After Hama, the biggest toll is in Deir Essor where 19 are believed to have died.
The government has blamed what it describes as “armed groups” for the unrest and says two of its soldiers have been killed.
But observers think Damascus is sending a clear message that it will not tolerate large scale unrest ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. This is the time when protests are likely to grow.