Syrian forces opened fire Friday on anti-government demonstrators in Aleppo, the opposition claimed, a day after thousands purportedly took to the streets calling for an end to the regime in a city widely considered a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad.
Security forces were attempting to break up a demonstration that began after dawn prayers in the mixed, upper middle class city in northern Syria, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition network that counts casualties and organizes anti-government protests.
While there have been a number of demonstrations in Aleppo since the Syrian uprising began, the number of people publicly calling for al-Assad's ouster has increased significantly. It culminated this week with thousands of predominantly university students demonstrating, according to opposition groups, who posted videos of the protest outside Aleppo University on YouTube.
The size of the recent protests raise questions about whether al-Assad is losing his grip on the country's largest city where he has enjoyed support.FULL STORY