On the backdrop of growing unrest in Syria, thousands of Druze from the northern Golan Heights on Saturday participated in a solidarity protest for President Bashar Assad at the village of Buq'ata.
Clergymen, women and children waved Syrian flags and portraits of Assad, and chanted Syrian songs.
"We came out to support the leader of our homeland, whose leadership is being undermined," explained Majdal Shams resident Yussef Safdi, adding, "Instead of solving domestic problems, they riot and harm Syria. We came here today to hold a quiet solidarity rally."
At the beginning of the week, a petition signed by dozens of Golan Heights residents and sent to Syria called for the removal of Assad, but Saturday's mass rally clearly showed that the majority of Druze residents still support the Syrian regime.
Rally in Buq'ata (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
"Not a single Druze forgets that he is an inseparable part of Syria,' noted Buq'ata resident Nabil Frahat.
The event organizers stated that some 4,000 people attended the rally, but the police reported a little over 2,000 participants.
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