Middle East

Syria's Brotherhood calls for revolt anniversary action

This citizen journalism image shows anti-Syrian regime protesters raise their hands and holding Syrian revolution flags during a demonstration in the neighborhood of Bustan Al-Qasr in Aleppo, Syria, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC)

BEIRUT: Syria's Muslim Brotherhood called on Wednesday for a week of action both in the strife-torn country and elsewhere to mark the two years since the revolt broke out against President Bashar al-Assad.

"We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria declare the week following March 15 a national week of solidarity with the Syrian people and their blessed revolution," the exiled opposition group said.

"We call on the heroic Syrian people to bring back to life all aspects of the uprising... inspired by the spirit of real national unity, speaking in one voice," a statement added.

Protesters in towns and cities across Syria have taken to the streets every Friday since March 15, 2011 to call for the fall of Assad.

The banned Muslim Brotherhood was forced out of Syria by Assad's father and predecessor Hafez after the brutal repression of an Islamist-led anti-regime movement in the early 1980s.

Dissidents say the group plays a significant role in the opposition today.

In its statement, the Brotherhood also called on "people in Arab and Islamic countries, and on free people everwhere in the world... to consider March 15 to 22 a week of global support to the Syrian people... with marches, demonstrations and sit-ins".

The organisation also renewed its criticism of the international community's paralysis over the Syrian crisis.

"The Syrian people, men, women, old and young, carry out wonderful acts of bravery and make sacrifices, holding out despite the regime's massacres and its crimes against defenceless civilians," said the Brotherhood.

But "the international community has watched and listened on, failing the Syrian people, and failing to fulfil its legal and humanitarian responsibilities," it added.

Syria's uprising morphed into an insurgency after the regime unleashed a brutal crackdown on dissent. The conflict has left some 70,000 people dead, the UN says.





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