Syrian state television is reporting Syria’s Cabinet has resigned.
The resignation on Tuesday comes as tens of thousands of Syrians rallied in support of the government, as the nation awaited an expected address by President Bashar al-Assad following more than a week of anti-government protests.
Government supporters poured into the streets of the capital Damascus and other major cities to take part in Tuesday’s government-sanctioned rallies. The demonstrators chanted and waved flags and pictures of the president.
News reports say President Assad could announce an end to Syria’s nearly 50-year-old emergency laws when he addresses the nation in the coming days.
The opposition protests represent the most serious threat ever to President Assad’s 11-year-rule and the long-standing authority of his family.
Syrian security officials have cracked down on the demonstrations, firing tear gas and live ammunition to disperse protesters. The U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch says at least 61 people have been killed since the unrest began.
Syrian officials say at least 12 people were killed in unrest in the port of Latakia on Friday and Saturday. Witnesses and human rights groups say security forces fired on protesters. Authorities blame armed extremists and foreign powers for inciting the violence.
The southern city of Daraa has been the focal point of the demonstrations.