Before unrests erupted in Syria, Syrian long time President Bashar al-Assad told reporters that the public opinion towards government in his country was different from that in other Arab countries. He declared that his government enjoyed citizens' consent and support.
But his optimist view didn't last longer. Shortly after exasperating waves of protests in many Arab countries, Asad's regime was rocked by angry protests. Although he then told the country's parliament that Syria will defeat those behind a "plot" against his country, everything changed rapidly for Iran's Middle Eastern ally.
Recently appointed Syrian Prime Minister Adel Safar formed a new government on Thursday, which was promulgated in a decree by President Assad. In addition, Asad government promised that it'll free scores of people detained in a wave of protests against the government.
Syria's leading pro-democracy group, the Damascus Declaration group, urged Syrians to stage peaceful protests in all Syrian cities and abroad to bolster Syria's popular uprising and ensure its continuity on Sunday, the country's Independence Day. Addressing a part of the protestors' demands, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday the emergency law in force in Syria for nearly 50 years will be abolished within a week, but coupled his concession with a stern warning that further unrest will be considered sabotage.
Emergency law in force since 1963 restricts public gatherings and movement, authorizes the interrogation of any individual and the monitoring of private communications and imposes media censorship. Syria has been under emergency law since the Ba'ath Party seized power in 1963 and banned all opposition parties.
Since early March 2011, there have been regular protests in a number of towns and cities, with the southern town of Dera'a a focal point. About 200 people have died in recent clashes.
In a televised address to the new cabinet charged with launching reforms, Assad also expressed his sorrow over the deaths of an estimated 200 people in a month of protests demanding greater freedoms. "We are sad for all the people we have lost and all the people injured, and consider them all martyrs," he said in his address.
A global outcry over deadly crackdowns on month-old, anti-regime demonstrations widened on Friday with the United States and the United Nations renewing calls on Syria to halt the violence. Taking in mind the regional and global outcomes of the democratic movements spreading mainly across the Arab countries, one believes that the protests have, so far, achieved bulk of the objectives they had at the inception of protests derived from long tyrannical practices by undemocratic regimes.
With the expanding international support for pro-democracy protestors, clear indications suggest that Syria will also join countries that face regime change or remarkable democratic reforms.