Aug. 30 - Syria's Bashar al-Assad attends prayers at a Damascus mosque, as demonstrations continue across the country. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Syrian State television airs footage of President Bashar al-Assad as he attends prayers marking the end of Ramadan. Despite the show of calm and normality, demonstrations continue. Five months into the street uprising against his rule, Assad, from Syria's minority Alawite sect, is facing more frequent demonstrations. His opponents have been encouraged by the demise of Muammar Gaddafi's rule in Libya, with whom Assad had close ties. The Syrian National Human Rights Organization said pro-Assad forces had killed at least 3,100 civilians since the uprising erupted in March. Amateur video purportedly from Damascus shows people on the streets continuing to call for the end of the regime. The video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters comes amid reports that security forces killed least four demonstrators in Southern Syria. Residents and activists are also reported increasing defections among Syrian troops, drawn mostly from the Sunni majority. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.