Protests In Syria Over Economic Conditions Enter Second Week

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Protests in southern Syria over runaway inflation and poor economic conditions have entered a second-week and turned antigovernment with calls for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad.  The protest in the southern province of Sweida, home to the ethnic-minority Druze community, was unexpected as the Druze have been largely neutral during the ongoing Syrian Civil War.  Protestors have kicked members of Assad’s government out of their offices and welded the doors shut, rattling Assad’s government.  Despite the recent doubling of public sector wages and pensions, the scaling back of the government’s gasoline subsidy has angered many and increased inflation while devaluing the Syrian currency. An estimated 90% of Syria’s population now live in poverty due to the economic conditions after over a decade of civil war.  Even in the capital of Damascus, discontent is quietly spreading as a resident told AP news that two containers of milk would cost a month’s wages.