It’s getting ugly in Syria. From the New York Times:
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Ignoring global condemnation, Syria ordered its military to storm through the rebellious city of Hama on Wednesday after three days of shelling. Activists and residents there said that tanks, armored vehicles and snipers had seized the central square, in what appeared to be a decisive step by the embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, to crush opposition to his rule.
The activists and residents of Hama, a historically important center of anti-government resistance in Syria and an incubator of the nearly five-month uprising against Mr. Assad, said the city was under nearly continuous gunfire in the early hours of the day, and they reported many casualties. They said some residents had tried to stop the advancing armored columns with barricades but stood little chance against such superior military might.
“The army is now stationed in Assi Square,” read a post on the Syrian Revolution Facebook page. “The heroic youths of Hama are confronting them and banning them from entering neighborhoods.”
Mr. Assad’s seizure of Hama came despite growing world opprobrium of his brutal suppression of a democracy movement that has so far defied his military and security forces, only seeming to grow more defiant with each new move to silence it. Activists have managed to get their message out despite the government’s restrictions on outside media coverage, often through grisly homemade videos of victims mangled by gunfire.
The rest here.