As protests against the Syrian regime continue unabated, Russia says that if President Bashar al-Assad cannot carry out promised reforms he should go.
Human rights groups claim that eight people were killed and 25 wounded as the Syrian army opened fire on protesters around the country after Friday prayers.
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has been hardening his stance after blocking, along with China, a UN resolution condemning Syria.
“If the Syrian leadership is incapable of conducting reforms, it will have to go, but this decision should be taken not in NATO or certain European countries, it should be taken by the Syrian people,” he said.
In Lebanon, thousands of Islamists held a rally in the northern port of Tripoli on Friday in support of the uprising in neighbouring Syria. They chanted anti-Russian and anti-China slogans and hung and stabbed an effigy of the Syrian president.