Syrian protesters demand ‘Decisive Storm’ against Assad

Residents carry banners and wear the Syrian opposition flag as they take part in a protest against Syria's President Assad in the Douma neighbourhood of Damascus. (File: Reuters)

Anti-regime protesters in Syria on Friday demanded a “Decisive Storm” military operation against President Bashar al-Assad, chanting the name of the Saudi-led air campaign targeting Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.

According to the Daily Star Lebanon, “one protester, in the town of Saqba outside Damascus, held a sign saying that the hoped-for intervention would rid Syria of ‘Iranian occupation,’” referring to Tehran’s military backing of Assad since the start of the Syrian uprising in 2011.

The protests coincided with Syria’s Independence Day, which celebrates the departure of French Mandate troops in 1946.

The demonstrations came as Syrian regime airstrikes pounded Aleppo and Idlib on Friday.

In an interview published the same day with a Swedish newspaper, Assad denied that his forces were guilty of torturing detainees or using chemical weapons, as another accusation surfaced of chemical weapons use.

“If there is any violation of the law, such as torture, or revenge, etc., it might be an isolated case for which the perpetrator is punished,” Assad said.

He added that the “closest example” of a policy of systematic torture that he was aware of was undertaken at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility under the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47