Syrians call for Assad's death, forces renew assault

Syrians call for Assad's death, forces renew assault

Eleven killed as anti-government protests gain momentum

Security forces killed at least 11 protesters, according to human rights groups. The calls for Assad’s execution were a stark sign of how much the protest movement has changed since it erupted in March seeking minor reforms but making no calls for regime change. The protests grew dramatically over the five months that followed, driven in part by anger over the government’s bloody crackdown in which rights groups say at least 1,700 civilians have been killed.

But with the regime shrugging off even the most blistering condemnation, the uprising has become a test of endurance as both sides draw on a deep well of energy and conviction.
“The people want to execute the president!” protesters chanted in cities across the country during the now-familiar cycle of weekly protests followed by a swift crackdown by the military, security forces and pro-government gunmen who operate on the regime’s behalf.

Security forces broke up most protests, firing bullets and tear gas. Many other areas saw only limited demonstrations because soldiers deployed heavily in restive areas.

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