RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
Thank you for joining us.
PHILIP SANDS: Hi. Hello.
MONTAGNE: Can you tell us what exactly happened in Latakia?
SANDS: And so the government has sent the army in, which is a huge thing, because all cities in Syria are really heavily policed and tightly controlled by secret police units and various intelligence agencies. And so the fact that they felt a need to send in the military is a huge development.
MONTAGNE: President Bashar Assad has promised political reforms. Are you seeing that there in any form?
SANDS: And yesterday, we had the government saying, OK, no. The decision has already been taken to lift the emergency law. But they gave no timeframe for that, which is a huge caveat.
MONTAGNE: And there have been rumors that Assad will address the nation. Is there anything new in that? There have been rumors of that sort before.
SANDS: But they want some clear direction now. They want to hear what the plan is, what the program is, rather than the very mixed signals that have been coming out of the government so far.
MONTAGNE: Thanks very much.
SANDS: You're welcome.
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MONTAGNE: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.