Protesters take to streets in Syria after Assad speech

Demonstrators in Damascus chant "No to dialogue with murderers," after Syrian president says country being exploited by "saboteurs, microbes."

June 20, 2011 16:09
2 minute read.
Syrians protest against  Assad in Deir al-Zour

Syrian Protests 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

AMMAN - Protesters took to the streets across Syria on Monday to denounce a speech by President Bashar Assad which they claim did not meet popular demands for sweeping political change, activists and witnesses said.

"No to dialogue with murderers," chanted 300 protesters in the Damascus suburb of Irbin, a witness told Reuters by telephone, with the slogans echoing in the background.

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In a

"People were still hoping he would say something meaningful that would result in tanks and troops leaving the streets. They were disappointed and started going out as soon as Assad finished talking," one activist in Latakia said.

In the city of Hama, scene of a 1982 attack to crush an uprising led by the Muslim Brotherhood that killed thousands of civilians during the rule of Assad's father, Hafez Assad, protesters chanted "damn your soul, Hafez."

Demonstrations also took place in the eastern city of Albu Kamal on the border with Iraq, the southern city of Deraa and other towns in the Hauran Plain, cradle of the uprising, now in its fourth month, and at the campus of Aleppo University, activists said.

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