Malta Independent

Syria’s Assad attends holiday prayers at Damascus mosque


Syrian President Bashar Assad has attended prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in Damascus, the seat of his power. State-run television showed Assad saluting worshipper­s as he arrived Tuesday at the al-Rawda mosque and various footage of him praying and talking to people following prayers. It’s the first Eid al-Adha since Syrian troops, backed by Russia, recaptured suburbs of Damascus earlier this year and areas in southern Syria previously held by rebels. In recent years, Assad has often traveled outside Damascus to towns and villages recaptured from rebels or Islamic State fighters to attend holiday prayers there. With crucial military support from allies Russia and Iran, Assad’s troops have recaptured most rebel stronghold­s across the country. The northern province of Idlib is the last major remaining opposition bastion.

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