President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday issued a decree authorising multi-partism in Syria, the official SANA news agency reported.
"Assad on Thursday proclaimed a presidential decree on the law of the parties," according to SANA.
On July 24, SANA had already announced that the government had adopted a draft law on multi-partism.
While in theory, mutli-partism could see the opposition flourish and put an end to the decades-old monopoly on power of Assad's Baath party; Syrian activists insist the president is just trying to calm the international communities.
News that the security forces had entered Hama on Sunday and launched an assault on the protesters sent shockwaves in the International community. Violence between Assad's troops and the demonstrators has since then continued and on Wednesday alone, 40 activists said that 40 people died as a result of the clashes, bringing the total death tolls since Sunday to more than a hundred.
As news that the regime continued its brutal crackdown on protesters emerged, the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) met on both Tuesday August 2 and Wednesday August 3.
While all members of the Security Council condemned the violence of the Syrian regime, they struggled to agree on the wording of the statement, with countries like China and Russia warning they would veto any attempt to issue a resolution, after the U.N. Resolution 1973 on Libya enabled the implementation of a bombing campaign on Tripoli.
However after two days, The UNSC issued a presidential statement published on Wednesday which "[called] for an immediate end to all violence and [urged] all sides to act with utmost restraint, and to refrain from reprisals, including attacks against state institutions."
It also requested "the [UN] secretary-general to update the Security Council on the situation in Syria within seven days."
Analysts criticised the communique for being too mellow, merely reiterating the calls made by the international community for the last five months, which have until now proven inefficient.
The EU -sponsored UNSC resolution put forward by France and the UK three weeks ago which called for a UN investigation into "crimes against humanity" perpetrated against "peaceful protesters" stand as a more sever warning, observers have pointed out.
The U.S., led by Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who travelled to Hama last month, is also hardening its position towards Assad.
Analysts have also warned that months of violence between the security forces and the protesters are now pushing anti-regime activists to arms themselves, increasing risks of a civil war. The opposition in Syria is far from being homogenous and observers fear different factions could also now try to struggle for power and influence.
Speaking in Congress earlier on Tuesday, Ford appeared to back these claims as he said he witnessed violent tools being used.
"The most dangerous weapon [in the hands of protesters] I saw was a sling-shot," he said of his trip to Hama last month.
He added that the EU should impose oil sanctions on Syria if the international community wants to put real pressure on President Bashar Assad.
"Unilaterally, additional American measures probably aren't going to have that big of an impact ... The big companies working in the energy sector in Syria are from Europe or Syria's neighbours."
An open letter sent by 68 US senators to President Barack Obama on Wednesday backed Ford's position. "The United States and the international community must hold the regime accountable, and pressure them to change course," the senators said.
Meanwhile the leader of the Liberal group in the EU parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, on Tuesday noted that "listing also the two state-owned oil companies Syria Petroleum Corporation (SPC) and Sytrol would significantly deprive the regime of its daily revenues, since 90 per cent of Syrian oil exports are exported to the EU - and market conditions do not favour easy substitution of other arrangements."
Meanwhile, while most activist and rights group insisted the new U.N. communique is just too water-downed European leaders supported the move.
France's Alain Juppe said in a statement: "The council is sending an unambiguous message to Damascus."
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague noted: "The support for this statement throughout the Security Council demonstrates the rising international concern at the unacceptable behaviour of the regime" while Sweden's Carl Bildt called it an "important step."
But as news of the U.N. warning emerged, violence was still on-going in Hama, proving that it will take more than a written warning for Assad to feel the pressure. The Assad regime has a long history of repression and Assad's father Hafez has been known to supress public uprisings, with his forces accused of killing hundreds of thousands of people in Hama itself.
Latest reports on Thursday morning said at least 45 people were killed in the town of Hama on Wednesday as Syrian tanks began to shell civilian homes while snipers and soldiers posted on roads out of the city picked off individuals, including women and children, according to Syrian sources.
The Associated Press also reported that six people were killed during overnight protest in Hama on Thursday.
The EU has so far imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 35 Syrian regime members and four defence-related Syrian companies, but oil sanctions, have not yet been set up.
While such sanctions would considerably put pressure on the Syrian regime, it would also affect the economy, which would in turn directly affect Syrians, already struggling to cope with the economic crisis caused by the unrest.
Unfortunately, after months of repression by the regime , Assad is not any closer to stepping down, prompting analysts and activists alike to question what it will take for the regime to stop killing its own people.