Some of the latest video footage to emerge from Syria overnight Tuesday purportedly shows pro-democracy protesters at Aleppo University being shot at by riot police.
The video could not be independently verified.
Protesters alleged that police also used tear gas to disperse the crowd of about 1,500 gathered at the university's dormitories, and arrested scores of students, confiscating cellphones and laptops. There were no initial reports of injuries.
Assad is hoping that he can remain in power by increasingly relying on his Alawite base, but that could be a losing proposition given that the Alawites are a minority within Syria.
The crackdown isn't confined to the protesters - the regime is also intimidating and attacking reporters attempting to cover the protests and the ongoing political situation.