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Mass protests in Syria continued across the country, with dozens reportedly killed by security forces. Protesters and human rights groups have accused the regime of perpetrating human rights abuses, triggering even further protests.

 

The most intense fighting appears to have taken place in the northern town of Jisr al Shugour, near the border with Turkey. The regime accused militants of killing dozens of army soldiers in the town, whilst protestors blame the killings on security forces against soldiers who refused to fire against protestors.

 

Intense firing by the army has led to thousands of Syrians from the town and neighbouring villages to seek refuge across the border in Turkey. The Turkish government said that over 9,000 refugees have crossed. The Turkish government also severly criticized the regime’s alleged human rights abuses.

 

June 1-16, 2011

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

The protests in Syria continue to escalate, with over 1,000 protestors killed so far, including dozens of children. Although the UN Security Council failed to agree on a statement to condemn the Syrian government due to opposition from China and Russia, the EU and US government are preparing to impose further sanctions against the regime.

 

Although the regime appears to be intent on resolving the crisis by force, as it has not made any significant political gestures that aim to resolve the situation, this will likely lead to further widespread unrest.

 

The continuing political stalemate and rapidly deteriorating security situation will likely have a major negative impact on the Syrian economy, including a further weakening of the Syrian currency, substantial drop in local economic activity as well as higher budget deficit, of at least 8 percent in 2011. The country will also become even less attractive to foreign direct investment, despite intense efforts by the government in recent years to attract FDI to help improve the local infrastructure.