There have been several demonstrations throughout Syria in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine recently.
Hundreds of locals waived Russian and Syrian flags at rallies in Latakia and Tartous in western Syria Monday. They also stood in the formation of the letter “Z,” which is a symbol used by Russian forces in Ukraine. The attendees expressed “support for Russia in the face of US and Western policies aimed at destabilizing its security and stability,” Syria’s official news outlet SANA reported.
Syria has been one of the strongest supporters of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the start of the war, President Bashar al-Assad called the military operation a “correction of history." The Syrian Arab Republic was one of only five countries to vote against the UN resolution condemning the invasion.
The rallies in Latakia and Tartous today were just two of many. On March 8, there was a pro-Russia rally at al-Baath University in the central city of Homs. On March 9, students and protesters gathered in solidarity with Russia at Damascus University. On March 10, there was a pro-Russia car rally in Hasaka in the northeast, according to SANA.
Russia under President Vladimir Putin is a major ally of the Syrian government. In 2015, Russia intervened militarily to bolster the Syrian government in its civil war against rebel forces. The intervention turned the tide of the war in the government’s favor, and government and allied forces now control most of the country.
Russia has similarly used Syria for propaganda purposes in the war. Last month, a Russian defense official accused Ukrainian forces of staging atrocities based on actions by the pro-rebel White Helmets rescuers in Syria. The official did not offer evidence for the claim.