Arab Uprising Reaches Syria, Challenging Assad

(Reuters) Dominic Evans - Four days of protests against corruption and stifling one-party rule have finally brought the Arab uprising to Syria. Analysts say disenchantment at Assad's rule and the exhilarating spirit of regional upheaval may fuel wider rebellion. "It is a semi-totalitarian state," said Hazem Saghieh, a columnist at the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper. "All the reasons are there to expect drastic change." If Libyan rebels, now backed by Western military power, make further gains in their fight against Gaddafi, Syrian protesters would be further emboldened, Saghieh said. "Popular sentiment has refocused around a host of domestic issues left unaddressed for too long," said Peter Harling, Damascus-based analyst with the International Crisis Group.

2011-03-22 00:00:00

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