Hundreds of Iraqi refugees staged a sit-in in Damascus on Saturday to protest against a recent nonbinding US Senate resolution that encourages splitting Iraq along ethnic and religious lines.
Carrying Iraqi flags, about 400 protesters gathered in the al-Sayda Zeinab district. "No for occupation and no for division," read a placard carried by one refugee. "Dividing Iraq is the start for dividing all countries in the region," read another.
The nonbinding resolution, adopted last month by the Senate, calls on the Bush administration to encourage the Iraqi government and parliament to adhere to the country's constitution, which lays out a plan for a loose confederation of regions under a limited central government, leaving the bulk of power with the regions.
The resolution is seen in Iraq and much of the Arab world as a recipe for splitting the country along sectarian and ethnic lines.