At least eight protesters were shot over the weekend in the Syrian capital Damascus and city of Homs, according to Syrian forces, as they demonstrated against President Bashar al-Assad.
In addition, at least 25 people were wounded, as the uprising nears seven months, with residents demanding an increase in political freedom and for the president to relinquish his family’s power which has spanned four decades.
Meanwhile, east of the country, in Qamashli, four hitmen killed prominent Kurdish opposition figure, Mishaal al-Tammo. Tammo was freed from prison earlier this year and was a outspoken critic of Assad and Kurdish rivals which made him a hated figure of important Kurdish parties.
In related news, Russian leader Dimitry Medvedev said the West had no right to intervene in the crisis, and that it was up to Syrian leaders to step down from their position should they fail in delivering on promised reforms.
On Wednesday Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security council resolution threatening action against Syria’s crackdown on protests, sparking outrage amongst the European nations that had proposed the resolution. Russia proposed a different resolution that condemns the violence but seeks dialogue to end the crisis in Syria.
United Nations estimates the current death toll in Syria to be 2,900.