Two reports from the "Arab Spring" that shows both Syria and Libya may experience unrest into next winter.
Rights activists said Wednesday that the death toll from violence in the central city of Hama is at least 22 after Syrian security forces opened fire on civilians.
Activists say that more than 50 people were wounded during an assault Tuesday when forces that had surrounded the city pushed through improvised barriers and roadblocks set up by Hama residents after massive anti-government protests.
Activists say forces also entered northwest Idlib province on Tuesday, apparently as part of the government's widening crackdown on dissent.
Amnesty International said Wednesday that Syrian forces may have committed crimes against humanity during an operation last month near the Lebanese border.
The London-based rights group accuses Syria of rounding up scores of male residents in the town of Talkalakh and torturing most of them. It quotes witnesses who say at least nine people died in custody.
Assad is acting like the little Dutch boy trying to stop leaks in the dikes by putting his fingers in the holes. Everytime he stops the water from one leak, another one opens up. Except it isn't water that is flowing in Syria. It is blood. And it's all over the hands of its president.
Meanwhile, Gaddafi seems safe enough:
Libyan rebels have launched an offensive in the mountains southwest of the capital, Tripoli, in an effort to move their front lines closer to Tripoli, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's stronghold.
Rebels used heavy arms Wednesday to push into the al-Qawalish area, a government-held position near Tripoli. Witnesses said they could hear NATO warplanes overhead.
The fighting comes after at least 11 Libyan rebels were killed in clashes with pro-government forces near the opposition-held city of Misrata.
Medics and rebels said the deaths occurred late Monday and Tuesday after forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi shelled targets on the outskirts of Misrata, about 200 kilometers east of Tripoli. They say more than 40 rebels were wounded.
The rebels may move their front lines closer to Tripoli in the mountains, but they appear to be losing once again in Misrata - a city they supposedly captured weeks ago. The bloody stalemate is continuing despite the French delivering some arms to those fighters in the mountains, and is likely to remain stalemated as long as Gaddafi's forces can fight back.