BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say thousands of Syrians have started pouring into the streets in the first major test of a fragile U.N.-brokered truce.
Syrian forces tightened security in public squares and outside mosques Friday after opposition leaders called for widespread protests. Activists say security forces fired in the air to scatter protesters in at least one area in the restive Idlib province.
President Bashar Assad’s regime has cracked down on such rallies in the past and suggested it would not allow them to resume, insisting protesters need to seek permission first. An outbreak of violence at a chaotic rally could give government forces a pretext for ending the truce, which formally took effect the day before.