Though there have been reports that the Syrian government is amassing tanks by the city of Homs for a bloodbath, protesters remain defiant. Sunday, opposition supporters waged a general strike for President Assad to step down. Soldiers clashed with armed insurgents, leaving at least 23 dead. The death toll in Syria has reached an estimated 4,000 since March, and shows little signs of slowing down. President Assad has refused to acknowledge his role in the crackdown. Meanwhile, groups of armed defectors, like the Free Syrian Army, are escalating their attacks.