Tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrated in central Damascus on Wednesday in show of support for President Bashar al-Assad, who is battling a six-month uprising against his rule, as more deaths were reported by security forces fire across Syria.
“America, out, out, Syria will stay free,” chanted the crowd, many of them carrying pictures of Assad and Syrian flags. They also shouted slogans warning the European Union not to intervene in their country.
“God, Syria and Bashar,” they sang.
State television described the government-backed rally as a “million-strong march … supporting national independence and rejecting foreign intervention.”
At the start of the demonstration a man holding the flags of Russia and China — which both vetoed a European-drafted resolution against Syria at the United Nations last week — flew over the crowd, suspended from a helicopter by rope.
It was the biggest demonstration for months in the center of the capital, which has been relatively untouched by the protests which have rocked Damascus suburbs and other parts of the country.
More killings reportedAs many as 10 people were killed by Syrian security forces during protests across the country on Tuesday, activists told Al Arabiya. “Seven people were killed in Homs, while three others were killed in Aleppo, Duma and Idlib,” activists said.
Assad’s crackdown on protesters against his 11-year rule has killed about 2,900 people, according to U.N. estimates. The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions and are seeking a U.N. resolution against Damascus. The government routinely blames “terrorists” of being behind the violence dominating the country.
In the first interview with Al Arabiya, the economic adviser of Syria’s National Council, Osama Qadi, warned of the economic impacts on the country and said that the foreign currency reserves has been decreasing rapidly since the start of the revolution.
President Assad, meanwhile, plans to create a new constitution, a top ruling party official said on Tuesday, as China joined long-time ally Russia in pressing for prompt reforms in a country riven by a deadly crackdown on anti-regime protesters.
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