Turkish Prime Minister Recip Teyyip Erdogan is now openly condemning the actions of the Assad regime in Syria, calling Assad's actions inhumane. He now affirms that he will vote against Assad in a pending UN Resolution condemning Syria's brutal crackdown on its population. Simultaneously he has opened Turkey's borders to Syrian refugees who are now arriving en masse and setting up residence in camps that the Turks are supervising.
Erdogan's widening stance against the Assad regime is noted in this video:
Syria is slowly descending into chaos, all these events suggest. There are reported army mutinies as many soldiers are refusing to fire on their fellow citizens, while demonstrations are continuing to break out regularly throughout the country, even in Damascus. Syrians have lost much of their fear of the regime and this will harden their resolve to continue their struggle, so it is very unlikely that there will be any voluntary return to the past by the Syrian population. The revolutionary Genie is out of the bottle, just as the cork popped in Libya several months ago, so now the clash of yet another ancien regime versus the forces of transformation must run its course, with all its repercussions for the region.
Also from al Jazeera:
At least 23 people have been killed by security forces in Syria, many of them when the army attacked a northernwestern town, activists say.
A Syrian opposition figure told the AP news agency by telephone that tanks shelled Maarat al-Numan on Friday, after thousands of protesters overwhelmed security officers and torched the courthouse and police station.
Syria's state-run television appeared to confirm at least part of the report, saying gunmen had opened fire on security headquarters in the town, in Idlib province, causing casualties among security officials.
Witnesses said helicopter gunships fired machineguns to disperse a large pro-democracy protest in the town, in the first reported use of air power to quell protests in Syria's uprising.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said no killings were
reported in the assault by the helicopters.
"At least five helicopters flew over Maarat al-Numaan and began firing their machineguns to disperse the tens of thousands who marched in the protest," a witnesses giving his name as Nawaf told Reuters by telephone.
"People hid in fields, under bridges and in their houses, but the firing continued on the mostly empty streets for hours".
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