Dozens more people were reportedly detained Friday when protests erupted after noon prayers across the country. One man was reported killed in Deir ez Zor in eastern Syria by regime “thugs,” according to a post on the Syria Revolution Facebook page.
Other protests were reported in Latakia and Banias on the Mediterranean coast; the northern Sunni cities of Hama, Homs, and Aleppo; Deraa in the south, Qamishly and other Kurdish towns and villages in the northeast; and several towns around Damascus, the capital.
The emergence of protests in Hama and Aleppo and the Idlib province in northern Syria is a new and significant development. Aleppo is Syria’s largest city and is populated mainly by Sunnis though it has sizable Christian and Kurdish communities.
The Syrian opposition recognized early on the importance of mobilizing this key city as well as Homs and Hama further south. These cities were the backbone of a revolt 30 years ago by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement. The revolt was brutally crushed in Hama in 1982 and the Muslim Brotherhood decimated. Homs has witnessed some protests in recent days, but the addition of Aleppo and Hama into the growing number of towns and cities rising up around the country was welcomed by the opposition.