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Syria update

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    Well, in Syria, the president there has promised
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    to consider reforms after a week of violent protest
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    in the southern city of Daraa
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    But that hasn't stopped protesters, who have called
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    for country-wide demonstrations on Friday
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    Thousands of the people were on the streets on Thursday
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    to mourn people they say were shot during
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    the government's crackdown.
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    There are reports that Bashar al-Assad will speak to the nation
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    within the next few hours to try
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    to calm the situtation.
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    Rula Amin joins me now from Damascus.
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    Rula, as we say, the president expected to address
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    his population. He has offered some quite substantial
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    concessions, but they don't seem to be—
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    or we don't know yet
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    —whether they're going to have an impact
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    on the day's protests.
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    Yes, it remains to be seen. However, we did speak
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    to many Syrians, including the people in Daraa.
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    And, the response to these measures is mixed.
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    Now, the activists, and the hardcore opposition activists
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    are very skeptical
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    and they say these are just lip service, and
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    won't change much. Others do give the president
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    the benefit of the doubt, and they say this
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    is a good start. Let's give him some time.
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    Maybe it will materialize.
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    And, maybe there will be change in Syria
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    without having, or forcing the people
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    to go into the street.
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    We have to remember, the protests have been
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    confined to Daraa despite seven days
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    of very strong clashes, where dozens were killed.
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    The capital remained quiet,
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    and so have the rest of the Syrian towns.
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    Now, today, it's going to be a challenge
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    and a test, both for the activists and the opposition, and the government.
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    If the people take to the streets in other towns,
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    maybe the concessions are too late.
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    If they don't, it means the president has managed
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    to contain the crisis in Daraa,
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    and that some of the people, some Syrians at least
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    have bought his line, and are giving him time
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    and putting some faith in these new measures.
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    But, the fact that the measures have been offered
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    at all Rula, to put this into context for us,
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    how surprising is that, given that this is a regime
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    which has a history of heavy handed brutal crackdowns
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    on any kind of uprising?
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    Yes, six months ago, nobody would have dreamt
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    that these kinds of concessions would have
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    been made in Syria, but by a month ago it seemed
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    very logical.
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    Now, I arrived here on Sunday, and the minute
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    I arrived, it was obvious that both the people
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    the Syrian people and the government
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    realize that change is coming to Syria,
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    and the government knows it cannot continue
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    with its old ways.
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    And, the president had made it clear
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    he understands the need to reform
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    and he will do it.
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    The people want it now, they want it serious
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    they want it meaningful, and they don't want to wait.
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    And, there's a race with time.
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    Now, some people believe that the president
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    himself wants to change, but he is surrounded by
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    a group of people, or the system itself,
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    that's not allowing him to do what he wants to do.
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    This is kind of giving him the benefit of the doubt.
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    The protest in Syria, in Daraa, added more
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    pressure on the government, and made the government
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    feel that it's very urgent to act now
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    before it's too late.
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    So, for now, it seems the president is keen
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    to contain the crisis in Syria
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    and he's determined.
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    People want to make sure he's also determined
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    to bring change to Syria, not just to contain the crisis.
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    And, of course, we will be following
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    the developments there with you Rula.
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    Thanks very much indeed, for now Rulla, in Damascus.
標題:
Syria update
描述:

Bashar al-Assad, Syria's president, has promised to consider reforms after a week of violent protests in the southern city of Daraa.

But that has not stopped the protesters who have called for countrywide demonstrations on Friday.

Thousands of people were on the streets on Thursday to mourn people they say were shot during the government's crackdown.

There are reports that Assad will speak to his nation within the next few hours to try to calm the situation.

Here's more from Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from the capital, Damascus.

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
03:22
Michael Cassady edited English subtitles for Syria update
Michael Cassady edited English subtitles for Syria update
Michael Cassady added a translation

English subtitles

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