Assad performs Eid prayers while his forces continue 'intolerable' massacres
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad travelled to one of Syria’s core cities to attend Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of Ramadan, in a rare departure from his capital stronghold, as his army continues the mass slaughter of Syrian civilians.
Syrian state media says Assad travelled to Hama on Sunday for the first time since protests erupted against him in 2011 and Syria descended into war.
Hama, in western Syria, was home to some of the largest protests and is ironically one of the areas which has been ruthlessly targetted by Assad and his allies, using what the UN described as "intolerable" tactics.
Assad joined Muslim worshippers at the Nouri Mosque for prayers on the first day of the three-day holiday.
The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.
According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.
The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians, have led to war crimes investigations.