BEIRUT

Middle East

Syria protesters vent fury at Assad, Hezbollah

  • Demonstrators chant slogans and wave Syrian opposition flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Bustan al-Qasr district in Aleppo February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman

BEIRUT: Thousands of Syrian protesters took to the streets on Friday with chants, banners and cartoons of President Bashar al-Assad to vent their anger at Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah and the international community.

In the Turkish border town of Ain al-Arab, demonstrators, including young girls and dancing teenagers, shouted for freedom as they held aloft Kurdish flags alongside the Syrian revolution banner in a video posted on YouTube.

In the Idlib town of Kfar Nabal, which has seen deadly air raids in the past week, demonstrators carried banners in Arabic and English.

"World! Your carelessness produced extremists like Assad. Now, we need extremists to get rid of your products," read an English banner held by men and boys standing in front of a bombed-out building.

The message came a day after a spate of bombings across Damascus, including a suicide car bomb condemned by the regime and opposition, killed at least 83 people in the deadliest day for the capital since the March 2011 start of the Syrian conflict.

The Arabic banner read: "The revolution is not sectarian and ... all are welcome under the roof of the nation."

In the town of Irbin, just northeast of Damascus, that has been the target of continuous bombardment by regime warplanes, a young boy stopped for a photo during a march to show his message to Assad: "We are coming to get you."

Meanwhile, the Facebook group "Lens of a Young Isqati" showed a demonstrator in the northwestern town of Isqat holding a cartoon of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah facing Israel and striking matches to light the fuse of a bomb.

But the fuse is facing the opposite direction and the matches land in Lebanon and Syria, where Hezbollah fighters were reported to have attacked opposition-held towns and villages from across the border last week.

Despite the ever-rising brutality of the conflict, which has left an estimated 70,000 people killed, demonstrations continue to be held every Friday nationwide.

At the Zaatari camp in northern Jordan for Syrian refugees, some 300 hundred demonstrators rallied to call for the international community to arm the rebel Free Syrian Army, an AFP journalist at the scene said.

"Oh world, we want arms ... The people demand the arming of the Free Army," they chanted.

 
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