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Syria protesters encouraged by success of Libya rebels

In Syria, anti-government protesters celebrated gains made by Libyan rebels against Gaddafi's forces in Tripoli, and taunted Assad with chants that he would be next.

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(Antler)

Syrians protesting the rule of Bashar al-Assad celebrated the hard-won accomplishments of Libyan rebels as they watched anti-Gaddafi forces take control of Tripoli on Monday.

Encouraged by the rebels' success in Libya, Syrians risked gunfire as they took the streets, shouting "now it's your turn Bashar!"

Thousands of people in Syria took to the streets to jeer Assad, saying he would share the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi.

In a televised address, Assad repeated promises of reform and parliamentary elections in February 2012, but this did not placate anti-government demonstrators.

"Gaddafi is gone, now it's your turn Bashar!" crowds chanted, buoyed by news of rebel gains in Tripoli, the Telegraph reports.

"Achievements made by the rebels in Libya have only made us even more intent on removing Bashar," an anti-Assad activist in Syria told the Los Angeles Times.

But activists in Syria admitted that their anti-government uprising requires different tactics, the LA Times reports. Demonstrations against Assad's rule have largely been peaceful and unarmed, unlike in Libya.

In the central city of Homs, a hotbed of dissent, Assad's security forces opened fire on demonstrators who had gathered in the main square.

Also on Monday, the U.N. escalated pressure on the Assad regime, saying that the death toll in Syria from the brutal repression of the five-month-old uprising has so far killed 2,200 people.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/110822/syria-news-assad-libya-gaddafi-protests-rebels-emboldened