BEIRUT: Syria's protesters took to the streets across flashpoint areas on Friday, chanting slogans against President Bashar al-Assad and vowing not to be oppressed again as the anti-regime revolt entered its third year.
Gathering under the rallying cry "Two years of sacrifice towards victory", protesters held anti-regime demonstrations in several areas of the strife-torn country including Damascus, Aleppo in the north and Daraa in the south.
"Long Live Syria! Down with Bashar al-Assad!," chanted scores of protesters as they demonstrated in the village of Harra in Daraa, the cradle of the anti-Assad revolt, activists said, adding that the regime army shelled the village.
"We know Assad has fallen, we need people to help us rebuild" the country, said a placard carried by a protester in Assali, southern Damascus, according to an amateur video released by activists.
"Our revolution is victorious. We'll be waiting for anyone who tries to abuse power," said another.
On March 15, 2011, Syria's revolt began as a peaceful uprising with men, women and children demonstrating against the regime, taking inspiration from the Arab world uprisings.
But it quickly morphed into an armed conflict after the regime army unleashed a brutal crackdown on protesters.
The United Nations says more than 70,000 people have been killed so far in the conflict.
On Friday activists vowed that Syrians will not allow anyone to oppress them now.
"There is a lot of violence, but two years into the revolution, we realise how far we have come. It's just a question of time before Assad goes. But now we know we will never again accept a leader who oppresses us or who treats the people like slaves," said activist Abu Ghazi from Hama.
In Douma near Damascus, protesters took to the streets in small numbers despite intermittent shelling on the rebel-held town, said activist Abu Nadim.
"The violence is constant, and so is the death. But even then we believe Assad will fall, and that oppression will end in Syria. We are patient."
Protesters also demonstrated in several rebel-held areas of Syria's second city of Aleppo which has witnessed widespread destruction amid daily fierce fighting between regime troops and rebels, activists said.