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Crowds cheer Assad in Damascus

Crowds cheer Assad in Damascus
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Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad took to the frontline of his domestic crisis on Wednesday, speaking to a crowd of thousands in Damascus.

Just a day after he broke a six-month public silence he made a surprise visit with his wife and two children to the central Umayyad Square.

“We will not fail in beating this plot. Our enemies are at the endgame of their scheme, and we will ensure it is the end for them and their plans,” he said.

Yesterday the UN strongly criticised Syria for accelerating its killing of pro-democracy demonstrators after the deployment of Arab League monitors.

In a private briefing it also condemned the harassment of the observers, with the US claiming 40 people had died every day since the observer’s arrival.

The UN estimates over 5,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria’s 10 months of unrest. Activists say it is higher.

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