Syria protests continue amid increased international condemnation of regime
The hardline government has been left reeling by fresh clashes on the streets and criticism from the UN and the US
Katherine Marsh, Tom Finn and Martin Chulov
Saturday 26 March 2011
Syria’s hardline regime was grappling to contain new flare-ups after an uprising that has sharply eroded its repressive rule and has so far led to the deaths of at least 55 protesters.
There were fresh clashes in the port city of Latakia, where two people were reported to have been shot dead, as well as in the southern towns of Tafa and Deraa. They came as burials took place across the country amid international condemnation at the uncompromising force shown by the Ba’athist government that has ruled Syria for more than 40 years.
Despite the show of strength, President Bashar al-Assad has been unable to free himself from the most sustained threat to his 11-year rule, which has seen protesters attack posters of him and statues of his father, Hafez al-Assad, who ruled for 30 years. Such acts have been almost without precedent throughout four decades of totalitarian rule.