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August 17, 2012

Syrians Demonstrate Against Government Bombing

by Scott Bobb

MARE, northern Syria — Residents of northern Syrian cities under rebel control demonstrated Friday against government bombings that have killed hundreds of civilians in recent days and showed support for the town of Azaz, which lost more than 50 residents Wednesday in an aerial bombing.

The people of Mare, a town of 10,000, dedicated Friday prayers to the people of Azaz, 20 kilometers away. Azaz was bombed two days earlier in a Syrian government air strike. It was one of the deadliest air attacks since the uprising began 17 months ago.

A demonstration in support of Azaz and a show of defiance against the government of President Bashar al-Assad followed the prayers.

Air strikes remain indefensible

​​Abu Mahmoud, commander of a local brigade of the Free Syria Army, said the FSA cannot defend the people against air strikes.

“The only thing we need is anti-aircraft weapons and missiles,” he said.

Despite the tension, Mare's central market teemed with shoppers preparing for the three-day feast that follows the end of Ramadan.

People pray, persevere

Ahmed Baru, a grocer, said business is bad because people have not been paid their wages and prices have gone up because of the war. But he said his business will stay open.

”The future? We want him [Assad] to fall. God willing, he will leave."

People say they are praying for an end to their suffering, but they vow to resist until the Assad government is gone.

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