Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attends a prayer ceremony in Damascus to mark the Prophet Mohammed's birthday. Mana Rabiee reports.
In Damascus on Sunday, prayers by Syria's top leadership to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. President Bashar al-Assad was there, and so were leading members of his government -- including the Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament. Syrian State TV showed Assad shaking hands with scholars from various Muslim sects - Sunni, Shi'ite and Alawite. It's Assad's second public appearance in a week, after a New Year's Day visit to troops on the outskirts of the capitol. This, as a protracted war -- which began as a pro-democracy movement in 2011 -- trudges on into 2015. No one group enjoys significant momentum in the fighting, and last month Assad said he expects the conflict to be difficult and long.