In just one day 60 people have been killed in Syria. The deaths occurred during a ‘Day of Rage' that saw the citizenry pitted against their country's security forces as they protested against President
President Assad has presided over a government that rules Syria with an iron fist, making his administration deeply unpopular. Six weeks ago, protests erupted across the country, but Friday's violence was on a scale not seen before in this impoverished and authoritarian nation.
The 42 people killed during several clashed with security forces around the country take the total death toll to over 500, according to some human rights groups. The majority of those killed were in the town of Daraa.
It was here that the uprising against the government first began and, because of this, the town has been under a military blockade for several weeks. Many of those protesting in Daraa Friday were seeking to have that blockade lifted.
The thousands of people who demonstrated were fired upon with live ammunition, according to witnesses, while snipers on rooftops brought down the suspected protest leaders in the crowd.
President Assad is now facing an increasingly difficult future. His country relies heavily on aid from the United States, a situation that the US is likely to find increasingly difficult to justify given the government's response to protests, while his security forces' actions Friday will leave him evermore isolated internationally and lacking in integrity.
Many Daraa residents are said to be fleeing for the border with Jordan as water, food and medical supplies in the city run out and rooftop snipers make it difficult and dangerous to move around.
In response to the government's actions Friday, the United States has reportedly imposed sanctions on three of the top officials in al-Assad's government.