The Syrian uprising began as a largely peaceful protest movement calling for change in the wake of similar uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The unarmed protests continue — and are still met by gunfire from regime forces. On Friday, security forces opened fire on demonstrators at Aleppo University, killing a teenager.
The U.N. said in late March that at least 9,000 people were killed in the conflict. More have died since then, with activists reporting daily death tolls of as many as several dozen.
Peaceful marches are now often overshadowed by the fight between Syrian troops and rebels from the Free Syrian Army, or FSA, made up largely of army defectors.
Mohammad Saeed, an activist from the Damascus suburb of Douma, which has seen intense fighting between government forces and army defectors, defended the FSA’s role.