1756 GMT: Semih Idiz offers an analysis on whether or not a visit by Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to Syria will be effective. His conclusion is that Turkey has little recourse, and Assad is likely trying to bide time for his reforms to kick in (and I would add, he is attempting to discourage the opposition by killing it, a tactic which seems to be failing thus far). However, Idiz offers this interesting paragraph, hinting that even Assad will find it difficult to change Syria:
Regardless of his talk about reforms, Assad is not in a position to allow this even if he wanted to, given the privileges the Alawite minority has secured for itself over the decades and which it is unlikely to give up without a fight. The question for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then is what happens if Assad does not comply with Turkey’s demands.
1747 GMT: The international human rights organisation Avaaz is reporting that 2 people have been killed today in a renewed military campaign against the city of Hama, Syria.
1743 GMT: US President Barack Obama and Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan conferred today, over the phone, about the ongoing crisis in Syria:
The White House says that in a call Obama made to Erdogan Thursday, the pair agreed that the violence in Syria must stop and the demands of the Syrian people for a transition to democracy must be met. Obama and Erdogan agreed to consult closely in the coming days as the situation in Syria develops.
1709 GMT: The LCCS is reporting that 12 people have been killed today in Syria, 11 in Qussair, outside of Homs.