Syria continues its crackdown
The Syrian regime tried this week to gain the upper hand against its restive population, arresting hundreds of people suspected of participating in recent protests. According to reports, as many as 300 alleged demonstrators were indiscriminately seized from their homes and hauled away. Together with the imposition of martial law upon several cities across the country and the killing of several hundred protesters, the sweeping arrests seem to have somewhat dampened the seven-week long uprising against the Assad regime: this Friday's protest was markedly smaller than previous iterations -- though protesters still numbered in the thousands in cities across the country. Sixteen civilians were reportedly killed in the town of Homs.
Meanwhile, the international community has intensified its sanctions against the regime: on Friday, the European Union agreed to impose a travel ban and a freeze of assets on 14 Syrian officials, though President Bashar al-Assad was excluded.