Assad makes rare public appearance at mosque
The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tried keep up the pretence that it was business as usual yesterday as he attended prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, but the rare public appearance gave clues to the pressures he is facing.
As demonstrators took to the streets across the country on the feast day that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, state media broadcast footage of the embattled premier in public for the first time since a bomb blast killed four of his closest advisors.
And activists jumped on the absence of the vice-president at his side as proof that the regime stalwart has defected, while the choice of mosque was also cited as evidence that his grip on security has loosened.
Flanked by ministers and religious officials, Assad sat cross-legged as the sermon described Syria as the victim of a conspiracy perpetrated by the West, Israel and the Arab world to bring terrorism to its shores.
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£20000 - £21000 per annum: The Jenrick Group: This high quality manufacturer o...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Electrical ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company offers London's best photo booth ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers ...