What Has the Government Done to Stop the Violence?
Since the uprisings began, President Bashar al-Assad has sent mixed messages, agreeing to some reforms, while refusing to step down from office. He has ended five decades of oppressive emergency law and abolished specialized security courts. He has also authorized the existence of political parties and announced a plan to hold parliamentary elections in February or March of this year.
However, the acts have not been enough to quell unrest or stop Western leaders like President Obama from calling for his removal from office — a proposition that he flatly refuses. Assad has said publicly that he plans to respond to uprisings with an “iron fist.”