Syrian religious authorities have called for "million man prayers" at mosques on Friday, in an effort to end the violence that has ravaged the country for nearly two years.
"Prayers will be held after Friday services in Syria's mosques, with the appeal for a return to security and safety in the homeland," Syria's minister of religious endowments, Mohammed Abdel Settar, said in a statement. He added that he believes the Syrian people will defeat the conspiracy against Syria supported by evil states.
Syrian opposition said the only thing that will stop the violence is the elimination of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. They also stressed that such demonstrations, which the regime calls for, will not witness any violence because the regime shoots on protesters and bombs who ever opposes his presence.
Meanwhile, the Syrian finance ministry has frozen "liquid and non-liquid assets" of former Lebanese Prime Minister, MP Okab Saqr and the media coordinator of the Free Syrian Army, Luay Moqdad. The three are accused of funding terrorist groups, jeopardizing Syria’s security, carrying out terror acts and inciting murder inside the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. According to a statement from the ministry, the measure comes "in accordance with paragraph one of Article 4 from the anti-terrorism law" issued on 2012.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at the Syrian opposition Wednesday for its obsession with toppling Assad, which he said was holding up peace efforts in the country that include a national reconciliation conference and a new government and constitution.
"For now, everything is running up against the opposition's obsession with toppling Bashar Assad's regime," Lavrov told reporters at his traditional start-of-year news conference. He added, "As long as this irreconcilable position remains in place, nothing good can happen. Armed actions will continue and people will die."
It is worth mentioning that last month Russia sent an invitation for Moaz al-Khatib, the head of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group, to visit Moscow, but he declined the offer and called for an apology from Moscow for its continued support for the Syrian regime.
Russia has used its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to block three resolutions condemning the violence and has continued to supply the regime with armaments.
In related news, Al Watan reported Thursday that Syria is lifting the ban on women serving in combat roles, allowing women to take part in frontline fighting. According to to the report, the National Defense female unit includes 450 women aged between 18 and 50. They are trained to fight using Kalashnikov rifles and grenades. A video has been published for these forces.
The report also said the women who have recently been drafted into the new paramilitary force started operating on the ground mainly in the neighborhoods of Homs, where residents remain loyal to the Assad regime and Baath party.
Everyone knows that there are supporters of the Syrian regime and that those are elements of the Baath Party and of the Alawite sect, in addition to some Christians. Thus, such demonstrations could happen and be repeated, but the question is: What is the percentage of regime supporters out of 24 million Syrians? The answer is simple—the regime has lost its legitimacy among more than 20 million Syrians. Therefore, the supporters of the regime are the beneficiaries and the people who share the same faith of Assad family.
As for the decision by the Syrian finance minister to freeze the funds of three officials, claiming they were terrorists, it would be better for the ministry to be concerned about the economic situation of the Syrian people, whose local currency is not equal to anything. Syrians say the situation of their currency is worse than it is in Iran.
By the way, according to Lebanese media, not one of those who were included in the decision owns anything in Syria. It has been said the Syrian regime's decision has no effect because it has lost its international legitimacy.
Of course, Mr. Lavrov feels offended after the Syrian opposition refused to meet with him. For this, he is deliberately attacking the opposition at every opportunity. But the opposition, whether politically or military, does not bother with his remarks because they know he is loyal to the Syrian regime more than the regime members themselves. Lavrov will not offer anything to solve the Syrian crisis without ensuring the interests of the regime, which provided Russia a lot of services in the past.