On Friday the Syrian opposition called for nationwide demonstrations in support of the Syrian Army free (ASL), a group of soldiers who deserted in an attempt to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The protest movement has been largely peaceful since it began in mid-March, the violence being carried out by security forces killed more than 5,400 dead, but armed clashes between troops and deserters are increasing in recent months and some opposition members also took up arms against the regime. Colonel Riad al-Asaad, head of the ASL, says that thousands of deserters have joined its ranks.
The increasing militarization of the conflict raised fears that the country from tipping into civil war.
On Friday the call to protest was launched on websites activists in the wake of a discussion on the needs of the ASL between one of the leaders of the opposition, Burhan Ghalioun, and Col. Asaad.