Frontline journeys to the heart of the Syrian insurgency, embedding with rebels who are waging a full-scale assault on Assad’s forces. But how organized are Syria’s opposition groups? What dangers might the conflict unleash? And what would it take to end it?
Frontline turned to 10 experts — Syrian activists, journalists who have reported from the country’s dangerous front lines and analysts who specialize in the region — to explain the long-term impacts of Syria’s deadly conflict.
The video above shows the areas of Syria that are experiencing violent clashes and shelling on Tuesday morning.
The Syrian regime is using Twitter to try to clarify recent comments about the country's weapons of mass destruction.
Syrian officials said Monday that they would use chemical and biological weapons if foreign countries intervene in the escalating civil war. Foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the army would not use the weapons against the rebels, but rather if “Syria faces external aggression.” Syria did not a sign a 1992 international convention that banned the stockpiling of chemical weapons, although its leaders have long denied having weapons stockpiles. Although Damascus residents did not report new fighting in the capital early Tuesday, residents in Aleppo reported shelling and clashing.
However, on Tuesday morning, Makdissi seems to be walking back his statement a bit:
"The Foreign Ministry's statement was only a response to false allegations on WMD & explanation of guidelines of defensive policy," ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi tweeted on Tuesday.
You've got people talking about forcibly removing you from your country, and you take to "Twitter" to clarify your remarks on weapons of mass destruction?
United Nations and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan met today with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the midst of worsening violence. Syria's 16-month conflict has so far claimed more than 15,000 lives. Annan said today's last-ditch attempt to salvage a peace effort ended with an agreement on how end the violence, but he did not disclose details. Earlier, he acknowledged his six-point peace plan had failed to halt the fighting between anti-government forces and the Assad regime. "The bottom line is that the majority of the country is engaged in a popular revolution for freedom, for democracy, for dignity," says Rafif Jouejati, the English-language spokesperson for the Syrian Local Coordination Committees, a network of activists throughout the country. "We have mountains of evidence indicating that his armed forces have been engaged in systematic torture, rampant detentions, massacres across the country."