Dec. 9 - Demonstrators were out in force in Syria with rights groups saying at least 14 killed -- with some putting the death toll as high as 30. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Amateur video out of Syria shows a demonstration against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters, shows some demonstrators dispersing amid the sound of gunfire, while others continue to chant God is Great. Rights groups say at least 14 activists were shot dead Friday. Others put the death toll as high as 30 More footage, purportedly from al-Harir shows protesters chanting "Syria is Free and isn't owned by the Assad's. The video comes as Turkey warned Syria that it would act to protect itself if a Syrian government crackdown on protesters threatened regional security. Footage out of Homs shows demonstrators burning a Russian flag carrying a photo of Assad. Syria has been hit by United States and European Union economic sanctions and suspended from the Arab League which is also threatening to impose sanctions. Russia and China, however, have effectively blocked any similar move at the United Nations and Moscow is warning the West not to interfere in the affairs of its longtime Arab ally. Video out of Aleppo appears to show two men arrested by Assad supporters. Peaceful demonstrations calling for reform began in Syria in March, inspired by the Arab Spring, but were met almost from the outset by lethal force. The United Nations says more than 4,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters