Some one million Syrians participated in the largest protests Friday since the uprising started some four months ago. Syrian security forces fired on the crowds, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 100, activists said, according to the AP.
In a significant development, thousands turned out in the capital, Damascus, which had seen scattered protests. Until now, much of the protest against President Bashar Assad has been in impoverished, remote areas.
Massive rallies also were reported in areas that have come under military siege since the uprising started in March, with tanks and snipers trying to crush dissent.
Friday's protests stretched from Damascus and its suburbs to Hasakeh and Idlib provinces in the north, Daraa in the south and Latakia on the coast. Thousands converged on the flashpoint cities of Homs and Hama in central Syria.