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SYRIA: Protests continue despite promises of reform [Video]

April 21, 2011 |  9:55 am

Protests in Syria continued over the last 24 hours in the cities of Dara, nearby Horan and Aleppo even as Bashar Assad formally lifted a despised emergency law.

Despite the growing presence of security forces in these areas, protesters mobilized in preparation for Good Friday demonstrations set to follow prayers.

Residents of Bab Hadid in the second-largest city of Aleppo (video above) took to the streets on Thursday chanting, "We sacrifice our blood and soul for you Baniyas," the coastal city that has been a hot spot for days.

Protests also broke out in the southern city of Dara on Wedneday evening. A gathering of protesters declared hope for unity with the Syrian army. "We are one hand," they chanted, in reference to the Syrian army, according to the video below.

Large pictures of fallen martyrs decorated the surrounding walls in Karama Square.

Residents of the nearby southern city of Horan also rallied Wednesday night to show support for protesters accross Syria. "For you Dara, or you Baniyas," they sang defiantly in an attempt to counter the sectarian and regional machinations of a regime bent on suppressing protests by describing them as divisive.

-- Roula Hajjar in Beirut

Videos, from top: Residents of Bab el Hadid march in protest Thursday; demonstrators in Dera gather in the night; protestors in Horan chant in support. Credit: YouTube