Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad used his third televised appearance in the three months since anti-regime protests first erupted to deliver a monotonous, rambling and technocratic speech to a handpicked audience at Damascus University on Monday and while the autocratic leader promised a national dialogue, the offer is unlikely to damper the violent dissent rocking his country. There was little new in his more than hour-long address
Nowadays, Damascus is full of posters saying “I’m with the law” admonitions to the citizens of the Syrian capital to behave and be loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. But walking along a busy street the other morning a woman in her early 60s tugged at my sleeve as she passed
As bright spring days gradually turn hot and muggy, the consensus in Damascus is that the protest movement has been badly burnt. The activist Facebook group Syrian Revolution 2011 put out an order for a general strike across Syria on Wednesday calling for “mass protests” and the closure of all schools, universities, shops and restaurants, “not even taxis.” But there was no apparent strike on Wednesday morning in central Damascus.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s carefully cultivated image as a modest leader with reformist leanings, close to his people and understanding of their concerns, has taken a severe beating after a month of brutal security measures against a burgeoning civil protest movement for greater freedoms that has slowly stretched across the country. The tall, trim, blue-eyed father of three has responded to the uprising in his country, the greatest challenge to his 11-year rule, with a characteristic mix of soft and hard measures, promising reform while also unleashing his security forces on the streets to crush dissent
Syria could very well learn its fate this Friday. According to a source from the country with close ties to the regime, if large-scale demonstrations break out after midday prayer in Syria’s two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, the regime will be faced with a stark choice: either crack down with unlimited violence, or meet the demonstrators’ demands.
In his 11 years in power, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, has cultivated an everyman image of himself, in stark contrast to the formal, distant mien of his late father and predecessor Hafez. The late president was feared more than he was loved.
Updated: March 20, 2011 Has the wave of popular revolts rocking the Arab world finally reached Syria, one of the region’s most policed states, a country its young president boasted was “immune” from calls for freedom, democracy and accountable government? Or were the unprecedentedly large protests on Friday just a one-off
On Tuesday, the counter at the Web site Free the Hikers was at 88 days. Switzerland’s ambassador to Iran paid the three a consular visit in September and said they were in good condition, but they have had no direct contact with relatives, the families said in a news release
President Obama has decided to send a U.S. ambassador back to Syria, a dramatic sign of reconciliation between the two countries, senior administration officials tell CNN. The announcement is expected to be made this week
The United States and Syria found a lot of "common ground" on which to cooperate in the Middle East, the State Department’s top Middle East official said after talks in Damascus. But envoy Jeffrey Feltman on Saturday warned to “keep expectations in check” as Washington and Damascus re-engage after several years of strained relations.