The Sunni coastal city of Baniyas saw 9 killed when government security forces were shot at by men hiding among trees near the road. Assad has offered citizenship to the Kurds who live in northern Syria, the sole location of Syrian oil deposits. Baniyas is the location of Syria’s main oil refinery and main terminal for export. Oil is not a major Syrian industry. According to AFP, Assad said he is making permanent reforms, as he met with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister. Orthodox Christian and Druze support are key components of the Assad government. The Russian fleet based at Tartus makes Western meddling in Syrian affairs unlikely. On April 11, Al Jazeera reports the army forces in Baniyas were killed by federal security forces for refusing to shoot at protesters.
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