There's quite a bit of news coming of out of Syria today. The big one is a report from The Washington Post, quoting "U.S. and foreign officials" saying that the Persian Gulf states and the United States have stepped up their efforts to assist and arm the opposition.
For a third day in a row, the violence of Syria spilled into the northern city of Tripoli in Lebanon.
The AP reports that the Alawites, who support the regime of Bashar Assad, and the Sunnis, who support the Syrian uprising, traded fire in Lebanon using assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades. Five people were killed and 100 were wounded in Lebanon's second-largest city.
Over the weekend, Syrian troops continued their brutal campaign against those who oppose the regime of President Bashar Assad. And a questionable video has been released by a group claiming responsibility for massive explosions that shook Syria's capital last week.
In Syria, anyone who speaks out against the regime of President Bashar Assad risks harassment, detention and sometimes worse. One famous cartoonist who'd lampooned Assad was pulled out of his car last summer by pro-regime thugs and had his hands broken.
Public figures like singers and actors are under much pressure to keep silent. Even a small and critically acclaimed group of Syrian painters is not immune — but that might be attracting buyers outside Syria to their work.