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Syria's Brotherhood calls for 'week of action' on revolt anniversary

Muslim Brotherhood in Syria issues call for global 'week of action' to mark passage of two years since outbreak of armed insurgency against government in Damascus

AFP , Wednesday 13 Mar 2013
Man raises his hand as he stands on the spot where the fallen statue of President Bashar Al-Assad's father Hafez Al-Assad used to be as a man takes a picture of him using a mobile phone in Raqqa province, Wednesday (Photo: Reuters)
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Syria's Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday called for a 'week of action' – both within and without the strife-torn country – to mark the two-year anniversary of the eruption of the ongoing insurgency against the government of President Bashar Al-Assad.

"The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood declares the week following 15 March a national week of solidarity with the Syrian people and their blessed revolution," the Islamist opposition group, which has long existed in exile, stated.

"We call on the heroic Syrian people to breathe new life into all aspects of the uprising... inspired by a spirit of genuine national unity," a group statement added.

Anti-government protesters in towns and cities across the country have taken to the streets every Friday since 15 March 2011 to call for Assad's ouster.

The Muslim Brotherhood was forced out of Syria by Assad's father and predecessor, Hafez, after the brutal repression of an Islamist-led anti-regime movement in the early 1980s.

Dissidents say that Syria's Muslim Brotherhood plays a significant role in the opposition today.

In its statement, the Brotherhood also called on "people in Arab and Islamic countries and on free people everywhere... to consider 15 to 22 March a week of global support for the Syrian people... by holding marches, demonstrations and sit-ins."

The organisation also renewed its criticism of the international community's reluctance to intervene in the Syrian crisis.

"The Syrian people – men, women, old and young – carry out wonderful acts of bravery and make sacrifices, holding out despite massacres by the regime and its crimes against defenceless civilians," the group asserted.

"But the international community has simply watched, failing the Syrian people and failing to fulfil its legal and humanitarian responsibilities," the Brotherhood statement went on to assert.

The uprising in Syria morphed into a heavily-armed insurgency in 2011 following a heavy-handed crackdown on dissent by the Damascus government. The UN claims that the conflict has left at least 70,000 people dead.

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