It’s been nearly a year since authorities began clashing with anti-government protests in the nation of Syria. Since then, massive fighting, deaths, detainment and calls for President Assad’s resignation have topped the headlines. Today we'll talk to a roundtable of Syrians and Syrian Americans living in New Hampshire about their thoughts and what they’re hearing from loved ones in their home country.
A man burns a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a Sunday demonstration on the outskirts of Idlib in northern Syria.
Credit STR / AP
Syrian rebels gather in front of a Syrian government military vehicle that was destroyed during clashes in the central city of Homs on Feb. 23. The city has been the scene of the heaviest fighting in recent weeks.
Monday was a rough day for the opposition in Syria. Senior officials in the main opposition group announced that they're forming a new organization. The development was the latest sign of the divisions within the Syrian opposition that's trying to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.
At the same time, Assad's government said that nearly 90 percent of voters endorsed constitutional reforms in a referendum a day earlier, even though the Syrian opposition and international critics called the balloting a farce.
Just a few days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Tunis, Tunisia, meeting her counterparts from dozens of countries and issuing an ultimatum to Syrian President Bashar Assad to silence his guns and allow in humanitarian aid.
While in Morocco, before flying home to Washington, D.C., Clinton talked to NPR's Michele Kelemen.
Syrian tanks continue to batter homes, and no aid is getting in. So what are allies of the Syrian people to do?
The situation in Syria is one of desperation, death and constant danger, a Syrian activist told All Things Considered's Melissa Block.
The activist, who goes by Abo Bakr, said he was in the house where journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were killed.
"We were hearing so many explosions around us, but then the sounds got closer until one rocket hit the backyard of the house," Bakr said. "Then rockets started hitting the roof, and that resulted in the roof falling down completely."
Credit Local Coordination Committees in Syria / AP
Flames rise from a house, the result of Syrian government shelling, in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, Syria, on Wednesday, in this image provided by citizen journalists to the Local Coordination Committees.
The fighting in Syria was seen as a spark for clashes in the Lebanese city of Tripoli last week. Here a Lebanese woman and her daughter look out the window of their bullet-pocked home in Tripoli on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Credit Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP/Getty Images
Lebanese soldiers patrol in the northern city of Tripoli on Sunday, Feb. 12, following clashes between Lebanese Sunni Muslims, who oppose Syria's regime, and Alawites, who support it. The rival Lebanese factions fired guns and rocket-propelled grenades at each other last week, killing three people.
Now that the uprising in Syria has turned into a heavily armed conflict, many in the region are worried that the violence will spread beyond its territory.
Syria borders Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, as well as Lebanon, where clashes erupted last Friday in the northern coastal city of Tripoli.
Sunni Muslims in one Tripoli neighborhood began protesting against Syrian President Bashar Assad. They put up a huge banner on the side of a mosque that had a picture of Assad, wearing a military uniform, with a big red X across his face.
Syrian troops have fired rockets and mortars at neighborhoods in the city of Homs that have most fiercely resisted the government throughout the uprising.
Mainstream journalists are barred from entering Homs, so a team of activists decided to record the offensive themselves. The activists positioned their cameras atop buildings in the city. Each morning the view is blue sky, a minaret, a sea of rooftops. Then come the booms.