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Syrian Army 'Gathering Confidence'

11:49 AM, Mar 14, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Working to suppress the protesters in Syria, the army there, the New York Times reports, is "gathering confidence":

Gathering confidence after forcing rebels out of strongholds in the north, the Syrian government on Wednesday launched its biggest raid in months on the southern city of Dara’a, where the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began a year ago, opposition activists said.

The activists feared that the government was now emboldened after seizing most of the northern city of Idlib on Tuesday amid faltering international efforts to stop the violence and was turning its attention to crushing centers of the rebellion in the south as the symbolically important one-year mark of the uprising approached.

Thursday is the anniversary of protests in Dara’a that followed the killing of schoolchildren who had scrawled anti-government graffiti. Those demonstrations turned what had been sporadic protests into a nationwide uprising.

"Confidence," one gathers, means a renewed willingness to employ whatever means necessary to suppress the protesters. More deaths will be a result of this, undoubtedly, as Bashar al-Assad's regime tries to maintain its control. 

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