Protestors in Syria staged multiple demonstrations across the country on Friday against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
According to CNN, demonstrators gathered in Damascus, Daraa, Latakia, Homs, Baniyas and Kamishli. Security forces used tear gas to disperse the crowds.
“Troops used gunfire amid protests in the Damascus suburb of Douma, according to witnesses and opposition sources,” CNN said.
U.S. State Department’s spokesman Mark Toner said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should meet the needs and aspirations of his citizens, according to Reuters.
At the same time, U.S. lawmakers have called on their government to take a firm stance against the Syrian regime.
According to AFP, Senator John Kerry, a Democrat, noted that Assad did not “promise concrete reforms, including lifting the emergency law” and said he was “particularly concerned” about violent crackdowns against Syrian protesters.
Major French newspapers have pointed to the Iranian regime’s meddling in the region as well as the regime’s ties to the Assad regime, saying that the fall of the two regimes will herald serious transformations in the Middle East.
The French daily Le Monde wrote, “Syria’s uprisings bear the mark of protests in Tunisia and Egypt. The same kinds of demands are being echoed in Syria, with the only difference being that the situation in Syria is much more explosive.”
Le Monde added, “One important parameter is that Syria is the only Arab ally of the Iranian regime. Without Syria’s support, the Iranian regime cannot transfer arms and ammunition to Hezbollah. So, any change in Damascus can bring about major changes in the region.”
Another French paper, Le Figaro, wrote, “If the Assad regime were to fall, it would possibly upset the entire status quo.”
Figaro added, “The Iranian regime, which is Syria’s ally, has a role in causing instability in the region through Hezbollah and Hamas. It is possible that due to the pressures caused by Arab revolutions on the one hand and domestic pressures from the Iranian people on the other, the Iranian regime will be overthrown. Such a development will transform the image of the Middle East.”