Thousands Rally in Support of Syria’s Assad

Posted October 12th, 2011 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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Tens of thousands of Syrians have gathered in the capital, Damascus, to rally in support of embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

Organizers said the demonstration Wednesday is also meant to thank China and Russia for supporting Syria, while the state-run SANA news agency said the participants stressed their rejection of foreign influence.

China and Russia last week vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Syria for its crackdown on civilian protesters. But both countries have also urged the Syrian government to speed up promised reforms.

For months, anti-government protesters have been calling for Mr. Assad's departure. The United Nations human rights office says more than 2,900 people have been killed during the government's crackdown on the protests.