Syrian Gov't Warns Protesters

After a mix of soldiers, police officers, and security forces attacked a sit-in demonstration in Homs—Syria’s third-largest city—that left up to four people killed and as many as 50 others wounded, President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian regime offered concessions to its people on Tuesday, while issuing a stern warning to end protests. The government is reportedly offering civil liberties reform, to curb the power of police, legalize peaceful protests, and abolish draconian courts. However, the Interior Ministry also warned the people that the regime forbids protests “under any banner whatsoever,” and will escalate a crackdown on them, if necessary. “The street is in one world and the president and the regime are in another,” said Wissam Tarif, executive director of Insan, a Syrian rights group. Meanwhile, videos posted on Facebook of the Homs attack showed scenes of gunfire and chaos, with protesters asking, “This is reform? This is reform?”