Middle East News
Syria braces for mass Friday protests
Jul 1, 2011, 8:15 GMT
Cairo - Syria braced for mass anti-government protests on Friday, a day after US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that time is running out for President Bashar al-Assad's reform promises.
Protesters vowed to take to the streets, as they have done every Friday since demonstrations calling for greater freedoms and the ouster of al-Assad began in Mid-March.
'Today is the 'Friday of Departure,' during which we send a message to the murderer and his accomplices,' activists wrote on the Syrian Revolution 2011 online page, which had been calling for and organizing protests over the past three months.
'Leave now, before that time comes when you will not find a way out,' they added.
Government crackdowns on protesters have left more than 1,300 protesters dead and 10,000 detained nationwide, according to rights groups and medics. Hundreds of security personnel have also been killed.
Protesters took to the streets Thursday night in the cities of Hama, Lattakia and Homs chanting 'The people want to topple the regime.'
Al-Assad's government faces criticism from many countries regarding the violence against protesters.
Clinton said on Thursday that it is 'clear the Syrian government is running out of time. They are either going to allow a serious political process that will include peaceful protests to take place throughout Syria and engage in a productive dialogue with members of the opposition and civil society, or they're going to continue to see increasingly organized resistance.'