"We are seeing an escalation by authorities today," said Omar Idilbi, spokesman for the committees. "They are sending pro-government thugs along with security forces to attack protesters."
7 killed in Syria as protests turn violent →
"They are blockading (restive) cities and killing demonstrators, arresting people and torturing people to death," said Omar Idilbi, a spokesman for a loose network of anti-government activists. "That cannot create a good environment for dialogue."
Syrian VP calls for transition to democracy →