Syrians took to the streets inspired by the success of the revolution in Libya that resulted in the death of its former leader Muammar Qaddafi. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces shot dead on Friday at least 28 protesters as they came out to demand he step down from power.
Syria’s opposition movement, boosted by the killing of Libya’s ousted dictator, called for fresh protests across the country in support of the Libyan people and against Assad’s regime.
Protesters in Tadmor and Idleb could be seen chanting "Syria do not fear, Bashar after Qaddafi" during an evening protest on Thursday in videos posted on a social media site. Protesters held posters saluting Libya as they chanted anti-Assad slogans.
Homs, the city of one million, has also witnessed an emerging insurgency after repeated attempts by tank-backed troops to suppress demonstrations calling for an end to Assad rule and more political freedoms.
Most of Friday's killings were in the central city of Homs and in Hama to the north, major centers of anti-Assad protests and the targets of major military operations to contain them.
The United Nations says Assad's crackdown has killed 3,000 people since the uprising began while Syrian authorities say at least 1,100 police and soldiers have been killed.