SIDON, Lebanon: Several hundred Syrian workers in Lebanon held a demonstration in support of President Bashar Assad and his allies Sunday in the city of Sidon.
Carrying a 2-meter Syrian flag, around 400 people chanted slogans in favor of Assad, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and Speaker Nabih Berri as they marched through the streets of Haret Saida, a majority-Shiite area.
“Erdogan is a monster in front of the giant Bashar,” the protesters chanted, referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The protesters carried pictures of Assad in military uniform with a caption that read: “Beware of [harming] Syria, you villains.”
Under the watch of Army personnel, the Syrian workers spoke out against the Syrian opposition, describing them as terrorists “and seeking to kill our brothers in Syria.”
“The protest is in solidarity with the Syrian people, Syria and Bashar Assad,” said Mohammad Ghayyas, who wrote the words “Oh Assad, here we come” on his son’s belly.
One protester said many of his friends decided to stop working Sunday to organize the march.
A pro-Assad protest is a rare occurrence in Sidon, where Sunni Islamist Sheikh Ahmad Assir has been holding demonstrations to support the Syrian opposition.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 13, 2013, on page 3.