Meanwhile, in Israel...
By Friday, defense minister Ehud Barak noted in the Jerusalem Post that "some 100 rockets and mortars… reaching communities further [from the Strip] than usual" were fired, with targets including Be'er Sheba, Ashdod, Sderot, Ashkelon, and Gaza border-region communities. One regional paper called the potential situation "the worst since Israel's deadly offensive in Gaza in the Winter of 2008-2009."
Under seige: Israel fears its Arab citizens
Map: Gaza missiles inch closer to Tel Aviv
Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists again escalated their confrontation with Israel on Thursday when they fired foreign-built missiles at towns just 10 miles south of the heavily-populated Tel Aviv metropolitan region.
Thursday’s back-and-forth was a continuation of the escalating war between southern Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza. The situation began to spiral out of control over the weekend, when Hamas-allied terrorists fired more than 50 mortar shells and rockets into southern Israel.
Syria: Flashpoint Cities
Syrian troops have beefed up their presence in the volatile southern city of Deraa and taken position in the Mediterranean port of Latakia, where at least 15 people have died in two days of clashes between security forces and anti-regime protesters.
Buildings in the commercial centre bore the marks of destruction and fire, and residents said they were staying indoors for fear of a new round of the deadly violence that gripped the city this weekend.
The unrest has put enormous pressure on Assad, who succeeded his father Hafez on his death in 2000.