President Bashar al-Assad has ruled Syria since 2000
Syrian protesters in exile burn a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad during a demonstration in Istanbul. Syria's opposition movement has been boosted by the killing of Libya's ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi, bringing calls for Friday demonstrations against Assad and giving grim warnings of his likely fate. © Bulent Kilic - AFP/File
President Bashar al-Assad has ruled Syria since 2000
AFP
Last updated: October 21, 2011

Kadhafi's death spurs Syrian opposition

Syria's opposition movement has been boosted by the killing of Libya's ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi, bringing calls for Friday demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad and giving grim warnings of his likely fate.

"Your turn has come Doctor (Assad)," protesters wrote on their Facebook page, while mocking the Arab League for giving the Syrian regime a two-week break to hold talks with the opposition.

"Give whatever delay you want, our revolution will vanquish, we will continue to call with all our voice to bring down the regime and to tell the world that the Syrian people will not surrender," it added.

Praising Libyans for overthrowing and killing Kadhafi, the opposition wrote on the Facebook page Syrian Revolution 2011, "the Libyan people pursued the fleeing leader from town to town, district to district, finally finding him in a drain."

Early in the Libyan uprising, Kadhafi has warned the rebels he would pursue them in all districts, houses and roads to exterminate them.

"What will be your fate," the opposition demanded of Assad.

"You are going to flee like Ben Ali (the Tunisian president who fled his country on January 14, brought down by a people's revolt.)?

"Or will you be behind bars like Hosni Mubarak (Egypt's ousted president now being tried in court), or finally are you going to flee like Kadhafi and your people pursue you from one house to another?"

Bashar al-Assad has been faced with a popular revolt since March 15, which has been harshly repressed, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the United Nations.

Initially criticised by Damascus for wanting to "destabilise" the regime, the Arab League announced on Thursday that Syrian authorities had agreed to allow a delegation to visit the country next week as part of efforts by the 22-member organisation to defuse the violence.

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