On Thursday the first global effort was made to force President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power. President Obama led the effort calling for Mr. Assad to step down and imposing oil sanctions on the country. European leaders, who import over one-third of the country's oil output, are considering oil sanctions as well. During demonstrations on Friday Syrian forces killed at least 16 in protests across the country. Reports made by activists and organizations within the country have shown that the bloodshed has only increased. With snipers on rooftops and dozens of men being led from mosques to be arrested, it looks like the situation has not improved.
Violence and Oppression in Syria Heightens
According to reports gathered by the The New York Times, Syrian forces killed 16 on Friday, including 5 army soldiers who refused to fire on the protestors. This comes days after Mr. Asssad claimed to have halted the crackdown on the demonstrations and one day after the Obama administration finally took diplomatic action. Reuters has reported at least 20 have been killed, and dozens more wounded. The killings appear to have taken place throughout the country, many in the Deraa province. The United Nations has announced that at least 2000 civilians have died since the demonstrations begun.
What Will Tomorrow Bring?
More people may have come out to speak out against Mr. Assad and his regime on Friday and there is likely a wave of excitement over the global breakthroughs, but unfortunately this led to greater danger for the people. Syrian forces killed many, despite what looked like a step in a positive direction. As most of the independent media has been kicked out of the country, perhaps the government feels comfortable saying one thing and doing another. After all, so far there have been little to no repercussions.