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Pro-Assad rallies held across Syria

15 March 2012 22:40
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DAMASCUS. March 15. KAZINFORM Millions of Syrian government supporters dashed through streets and main squares nationwide, to stage rallies in support of embattled President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

The rallies, which erupted across Syria, have witnessed low turnouts in embattled areas such as central provinces of Homs and Hama as well as northern Idlib, which have emerged as main battlegrounds between government troops and rebel forces.

In the latest series of raids on opposition strongholds in Idlib, the government succeeded in pushing the militants to leave positions. On Saturday, many people fled Idlib to surrounding villages and in some cases to neighboring Turkey.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday morning that around 1,000 Syrian refugees, including a general in the army, fled to Turkey in the last 24 hours. "The number of Syrians currently staying in Turkey climbed to 14,700 today," Turkey's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Selcuk Unal said at a press conference.

The biggest rally was held at the Umayyad square in Damascus and similar marches were held all over Syrian squares to emphasize the Syrians' loyalty and allegiance to their homeland and the Syrian leader in face of external pressures.

Dubbed as "I am a Syrian and will participate in the global march for Syria," Thursday's rallies saw demonstrators waving Syrian flags and posters of Assad.

"We came here today to tell everyone who hates Syria that the Syrian people love each other... these people here were not coerced into taking part in this rally, but they are here out of love to Syria," said Majd Jaber, a Syrian demonstrator.

Another demonstrator, Fayyez Fayad, said that "we are here to show the world our love to Syria. We only care about Syria, and our goal is to reform, making a united country under one flag and one constitution."

Earlier in the day, the government-run Tishrin government newspaper said in an article that Thursday's rally is held by the youths to "demonstrate that they are marching steadily to embody their effective role in building the renewed Syria."

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