The fighting in Syria has flared up in the quiet city Aleppo, where scores of civilians are beginning to flee the constant shelling. Government forces have launched an offensive there, relentlessly shelling many neighborhoods in Syria's second-largest city.
In Syria, uncertainty about the future of the country looms after bomb blasts in Damascus reportedly killed at least three members of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's inner circle yesterday. From Cairo to Washington, officials expressed confidence that this latest violence will have repercussions.
In Syria, tens of thousands of government supporters poured into the streets of Damascus and other cities on Sunday to protest the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's membership. Angry supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad also attacked several embassies. In response to the unrest, Syria called for an emergency Arab summit.
Today is the fifth day of Ramadan — the holiest month on the Islamic calendar during which, typically, life in the Middle East slows down. Businesses close early, and families and communities gather every night to break their fast. But this year has been strikingly different. The Syrian government has used the holy month to intensify its violent crackdown on protesters, with tanks entering the town Hama every day since the weekend. Meanwhile in Egypt, hundreds of armed troops stormed Cairo’s Tahrir Square earlier in the week, beating protesters with electric batons.