Inspired by the scenes of euphoria in Libya, Syrian protesters poured into the streets today and shouted that President Bashar Assad's regime will be the next to unravel now that Moammar Gadhafi is dead. But Syrian forces fired on the protesters, killing at least eight, activists said. In the Syrian town of Qusair near the Lebanese border, Syrian forces closed all mosques to prevent people from gathering. The weekly protests usually begin as Syrians pour out of mosques following Friday afternoon prayers.
The Syrian uprising has proved remarkably resilient over the past seven months, but it has shown some signs of stalling in recent weeks as the government continues a bloody crackdown that the UN estimates has killed more than 3,000 people. Now the armed uprising in Libya that drove Gadhafi from power—albeit with NATO air support—appears to have breathed new life into the Syrian revolt. "Gadhafi is gone, your turn is coming, Bashar," protesters shouted today. "Our souls, our blood we sacrifice for you, Libya!"