The Free Syria flag again flew high in villages, towns and cities across the country Aug 25, as thousands filled the streets, reviving the chants of the revolution. Protests had days earlier erupted in the regime-held south of the country, first in the Druze-majority city of Sweida (Suwayda) and Dera’a—the town that saw the initial anti-regime protests of the 2011 uprising. They were triggered by the cost-of-living crisis, especially the recent increase in fuel prices as the regime has yet again cut subsidies. But protests sparked by economic demands soon escalated to renewed calls for the downfall of the Bashar Assad dictatorship.
Inspired by Sweida and Dera’a, protesters then took to the streets in other regime-held cities, including Aleppo, the country’s largest, which was savagely bombarded by regime and Russian warplanes in 2015-6. Demonstrations were also mobilized in support of the new uprising in opposition-held Idlib, and in Raqqa, Hasakeh and Deir ez-Zour—which are occupied by US-backed Kurdish forces in an uneasy alliance with the Assad regime. (Via overview on Leila’s blog, platform of Syrian activist Leila Al Shami)
The Syrian Network for Human Rights reports that at least 57 have been arrested in protests in regime-held areas since the beginning of August. (SNHR)
Photo of Idlib demonstration by Omar Albam, via Leila’s blog