Thousands of Palestinians rally against Assad
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Thousands of Palestinians in Israel demonstrated against Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday, calling for him to step down and end his violent suppression of a nationwide revolt. Chanting "Bashar Assad leave" and "Let the people live", protesters in the northern town of Kafr Kanna set fire to posters of the Syrian president.
Assad has shown no sign of easing his campaign to stamp out an 11-month uprising against his rule. His forces on Friday resumed attacks on opposition strongholds in the city of Homs, which has now been under fire for two weeks. The United Nations says more than 5,400 civilians have been killed in the uprising and the UN General Assembly on Thursday told Assad to stop the violence and surrender power.
Syrian authorities say they are fighting foreign-backed "terrorists". Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday he expected Assad to fall "within weeks". Last month Israel's army chief Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz said the country was preparing to take refugees from Assad's minority Alawite sect into the Golan Heights, in the event of the president's downfall.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. Despite the fact that the two countries have never made peace, the Golan frontier has largely been quiet.
Thousands demonstrate in Falluja supporting Syrian people
Feb 17, 2012 - Fallujah, Iraq: Massive demonstration in support of the Syrian revolution
ANBAR / Aswat al-Iraq: Thousands of residents of Falluja, in Anbar province, demonstrated today in support of the Syrian people with the participation of tribal sheikhs, religious leaders and mass organizations. Sheikh Hameed Dulaimi, clergyman, told Aswat al-Iraq that the demonstration took place after Friday mid-day prayers in support of the Syrian people.
"This demonstration is a reminder to Premier Nouri al-Maliki and the local government in Anbar province that thieves and murderers are doomed to death," he added. Ramadi, the center of Anbar province, lies 110 km west of the capital, Baghdad.