Syria's Long, Bloody Uprising

Nearly a year after it began, the violence in Syria carries on. Despite tightening international sanctions, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's troops continue to attack opposition strongholds across the country. As the shelling of the city of Homs continues, fresh offensives have just started in the province of Idlib, where government troops reportedly fired artillery, mortars, and anti-aircraft guns at several towns. Over the weekend, the United States and European and Arab countries held a "friends of Syria" conference in Tunisia to work out a plan to end the violence. Talk of arming the opposition is muted, due to deep divisions within the cluster of groups opposed to Assad's rule. And there are fears that supplying weapons to Assad's disjointed group of opponents might lead to further instability -- and that the unrest might spread to neighboring countries. Meanwhile, thousands have died, international intervention has had little effect, and no end appears in sight.

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