As the demonstrators became more resolute, the government crackdown worsened. On March 18, 2011, the army opened fire on protesters, killing four people. At the victims’ funerals the next day, the army shot at mourners, killing one. The jailed youths were eventually freed, but the unrest had already spread throughout the country thanks to social media. Despite calls for him to leave, President al-Assad refuses to step down.