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Bashar al-Assad visits orphanage on Christmas

AP
Published : Dec 26, 2016, 1:21 pm IST
Updated : Dec 26, 2016, 1:26 pm IST

The rebel withdrawal from east Aleppo last week marked Assad’s biggest victory since Syria’s crisis began in 2011.

The Syrian President, along with his wife, an orphanage in Abbey on Sunday. (Photo: Facebook)
 The Syrian President, along with his wife, an orphanage in Abbey on Sunday. (Photo: Facebook)

Beirut: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has visited a Christian orphanage near the capital Damascus on Christmas Day.

Photographs posted on the Syrian presidency’s Facebook page showed the president along with his wife, Asma, standing with nuns and orphans in the Damascus suburb of Sednaya.

In the northern city of Aleppo, Christians celebrated Christmas for the first time in four years with the country’s largest city now under full control of government forces.

The rebel withdrawal from east Aleppo last week marked Assad’s biggest victory since Syria’s crisis began in 2011.

Christians, one of the largest religious minorities at about 10% of Syria’s pre-war 23 million-strong population, have tried to stay on the sidelines of the conflict. However, the opposition’s increasingly outspoken Islamism has kept many leaning toward Assad’s government.

Tags: bashar al-assad, christian orphanage, christmas day, christmas
Location: Lebanon, Beirut, Beirut