In Syria today, there are reports of more gunfire in the southern city of Daraa and a military lockdown in the coastal city of Jableh, a day after Syrian troops and tanks rolled into Daraa in what the regime claimed was an effort to protect residents and activists claimed was an effort to mercilessly stamp out unrest in the country. People in Deraa report that telephone lines have been cut, which perhaps explains why the flow of amateur photos and videos that have characterized coverage of the Syrian uprising have slowed to a trickle (the photo above, taken with a mobile phone through a car window, shows security forces in Damascus on Sunday).
Many news reports this morning are focusing on new numbers released by the Syrian human rights organization Sawasiah, which is estimating that Syrian security forces have killed 400 civilians since the uprising began in mid-March and arrested at least 500 pro-democracy activists in recent days.
The reports emerging from Syria--which mainly come from activists and the Syrian regime given restrictions on foreign journalists--have motivated Western countries to consider sanctions against Syrian officials and a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the government's crackdown. The U.S. State Department is now urging American citizens not to visit Syria and Americans already in the country to depart "while commercial transportation is readily available." State Department officials are also arranging the evacuation of diplomats' families and non-essential personnel at the U.S. embassy in Damascus.
Update: Al Jazeera has posted the first amateur video we're seeing today from Daraa, showing residents chanting "the army is with us" before the army starts shooting:
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