A banned Syrian opposition group's call on anti-government protestors to take to the streets ahead of Friday prayers is a direct challenge to the country's authorities, a political experts says.
It is believed to be the first time that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has called for street action since a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began six weeks ago.
The "Day of Rage" demonstrations expected today would express solidarity with the besieged southern city of Deraa, where at least 50 people are reported to have been killed by security forces.
Deraa has been the focus of unrest which has left at least 500 people dead, human rights groups say.
"This means an open war," Syrian political expert Hamid al-Abdullah told RIA Novosti on Friday.
"By issuing this call they [the Muslim Brotherhood] have acknowledged that they are a power that is in charge of the processes in the country," al-Abdullah said. "On the other hand, that fact that their call has appeared at a time when the West is increasing pressure on Syria means that they are going on the same plan."
He said however that the group's call would do little to affect the situation in the country.
MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti)