the republic logo

Syrian state media show Assad praying at start of Muslim holiday amid surge in army casualties


BEIRUT — Syrian state media have shown President Bashar Assad praying in Damascus at the start of a major Muslim holiday amid reports of an unprecedented high toll among his troops battling Islamic extremists.

State TV showed Assad performing prayers in Damascus' Khair mosque early Monday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says about 1,240 soldiers and other Assad loyalists have been killed in the past 10 days, mostly in fierce battles with fighters from the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State group and other rebels in northern Syria.

The dead soldiers and allied militiamen are among more than 1,800 people reportedly killed in the same period — a record number of deaths since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011.

Syria's three-year civil war has so far killed more than 170,000 people.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All comments are moderated before posting. Your email address must be verified with Disqus in order for your comment to appear.
View our commenting guidelines and FAQ's here.

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.

We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)


Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.