Syria: Next Big Flashpoint in Middle East?

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Syria's cabinet passed a draft law on Tuesday lifting the country's 48-year emergency rule, the unfairness of which has been a rallying cry for those in the country who want reform. The cabinet was under pressure to ease the emergency rule, but immediately after the supposed concession, the body passed a law that requires Syrians to seek permission to protest from the Interior ministry. The political upheaval sweeping across North Africa and the Mideast has been compared to a contagious virus, but Syria just may be the most contagious country of all. Syria is centrally located, bordering Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon.

Syria's political fates may also cast wide ripples across Israel and Iran. Joshua Landis is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He also writes the blog Syria Comment. The BBC's Owen Bennet-Jones reports with an update on the emergency law. He says that the question remains as to what legislation will replace the emergency law.