BEIRUT — Syrian authorities Friday beefed up security measures in Damascus as rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad urged supporters to mark the second anniversary of the country's uprising by stepping up attacks against the regime.
The revolt against Assad's authoritarian rule began in March 2011 with protests in the southern city of Daraa, after troops arrested teenagers who scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall. It has since morphed into a civil war with an estimated 70,000 people killed, according to the U.N.
On Friday, some rebels called for stepped-up attacks to mark the anniversary. The banned Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group urged supporters for a "week of action" on the occasion but didn't specify what it would do.
A Damascus-based activist who identified himself as Abu Qais said troops increased patrols and security searches in the country's capital. He spoke on condition his real name not be used for security concerns.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Lebanon, gunmen set fire to three fuel tankers with Syrian license plates to prevent them from crossing into Syria, the state-run National News Agency said.
The Lebanese agency said the incident occurred in the northern city of Tripoli, and that the tankers were carrying fuel when they were stopped by the protesters and later set on fire. No casualties were reported.