The Revolting Syrian-يلا إرحل يا بشار

Heavy clashes across Syria in recent days provide further evidence that the nine-month struggle to topple Syria’s Assad regime is evolving into an armed conflict.

The intensified fighting coincides with yesterday’s launch of a nationwide general strike intended to apply further pressure on the Syrian authorities. But its effectiveness in hastening President Bashar al-Assad’s downfall and averting a further descent into bloodshed looks doubtful.

Despite growing international and regional pressure and a worsening security and economic situation, the Assad regime shows no sign of easing its crackdown on opposition activists and armed rebel soldiers. And both sides have hardened their positions to the extent that a negotiated end to the violence effectively has been ruled out, analysts say.

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