The protests against Syrian president Bashar al Assad’s regime is spreading to the country’s business community and middle-class residents of Damascus. There is also mounting international pressure on Assad to halt the crackdown while the US and EU prepare to impose new sanctions on Syrian oil exports.
Similarly, the estimated 2,000 people killed in the past five months was 2,000 too many for the international community. In a symbolic nudge of the West towards oil sanctions, protesters staged their biggest post-Friday prayer demonstrations in the eastern oil- and gas-producing province of Deir El-Zoor. In response, the Syrian military attacked the town killing some 50 people.
James M. Dorsey is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is also the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
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