Syria's crackdown on "day of defiance" protests across Syria on Friday after noon prayers has left up to 30 people dead in the cities of Homs, Hama, and Jableh, according to activists, while Syria's state media is reporting that ten members of the security forces and "several members" of "armed terrorist groups" were killed in Homs (pictured above).
The bloody confrontations come at the end of a a week in which the regime continued its military operation in the battered southern city of Daraa (though officials say Syrian troops and tanks are now gradually withdrawing) and reportedly arrested more than 1,000 Syrians. On the diplomatic front, the U.N. is preparing to dispatch a delegation to the country to investigate alleged human rights abuses and the European Union has joined the U.S. in leveling sanctions against Syrian officials, though, as in the case of the U.S., the measures don't target Syrian President Bashar al-Assad himself.
The amateur videos emerging from Syria tell today's story particularly well. This footage of a protest in a town near Homs, via Al Jazeera, helps convey the size of some of Friday's demonstration, despite the regime's heavy-handed tactics:
Protests are also occurring in the Kurdish northeast. In this video from Amuda, protesters chant, "The Syrian people are one," according to Al Jazeera:
Activists claim the regime is deploying snipers as part of its crackdown. These two videos, highlighted by The New York Times, allegedly show snipers in Homs:
This video, via the Times, shows protesters clashing with security forces in Hama:
Photo by Reuters