July 17 - Flag-waving supporters rally in Damascus for President Bashar al-Assad. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Syrian State Television airs footage of flag-waving supporters of President Bashar al- Assad in Damascus. Thousands gather to show support for the President. The rally comes as Syrian tanks surround a town near the border with Iraq, and follow months of protests against his rule. Human rights activists say more than 1,400 civilians have been killed since the protests began in March. Syria's economy is reeling under the weight of strikes, reduced oil exports, and scaled-back trade and international sanctions. Iran, a close ally if Syria, is reportedly considering 5.8 billion dollars in financial aid to Damascus. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters