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Protesters destroy Hafez al-Assad statue in Suwayda

The residents of the Syrian city of Suwayda took to the street in peaceful demonstrations in early September to voice their opposition to the rampant corruption and bad living conditions in the city.
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DAMASCUS, Syria — Suwayda, the relatively calm Syrian city with a majority of Druze residents located 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Damascus, witnessed on Sept. 1 peaceful demonstrations that were the biggest of its kind since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution. Scores of protesters flocked to the governorate’s municipality building downtown, demanding the improvement of living conditions and the dismissal of the corrupt politicians and holding the latter accountable.

The sit-in came as a response to a campaign launched on Facebook#Khanaqtouna (You Suffocated Us) — by a number of activists in the city. The page quickly garnered the attention and support of the city’s residents, who responded to the call and took to the street. Another protest took place on Sept. 3, where protesters raised their demands, calling for the ousting of the city's governor, Afef Naddaf. Protesters shouted slogans akin to the Arab Spring — “Down with the regime” — but were keen on keeping the march as peaceful as possible, so as to avoid any clashes with the security forces controlling the city, according to the campaign’s Facebook page.

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