With one eye on Gaddafi's crumbling regime, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ordered troops to step up security around Damascus, the country's capital. Syrian troops killed four protesters in an eastern suburb of the capital before Friday prayers and are cracking down on demonstrations in other surrounding neighborhoods, according to the head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights. Renewed enforcement of security comes amid a wave of fresh pro-democracy demonstrations. Ali Farzat, a well known political cartoonist, was severely beaten by Assad's troops and left on the side of the road on Thursday. He had drawn a cartoon of Assad riding out of the country with Libya's Gaddafi.