Feb. 19 - Supporters of embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad gather in a Turkish border town where they blast international attempts to force the long-time leader to step down. Andrew Raven reports.
PLEASE NOTE: REUTERS CANNOT FULLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE SHELLING SEGMENT OF THIS VIDEO, WHICH WAS OBTAINED FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE; THE SYRIAN AUTHORITIES HAVE RESTRICTED ACCESS TO INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS Hundreds of people rally in support of embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. At this demonstration - held in Turkey - supporters chanted Assad's name and urged him to stay on as president - despite increasing international pressure for him to step down. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ANTAKYA RESIDENT MERAL MIROGLU, SAYING: "No one can isolate Bashar al-Assad. People living here are on the side of Assad and his people." Several countries, including the U.S., have blasted Assad for what they call a brutal crackdown on Syria's opposition groups - an offensive that has left thousands dead. But in this town - near the border with Syria - people disputed that view. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ANTAKYA RESIDENT CELAL SAHIN, SAYING: "We are one nation, Turkey and Syria. But others - they have another target, to take Bashar out of the country and bring someone from America or a Zionist. We don't want a Zionist. We are one nation, God, Syria, Bashar." Turkey, which has called on Assad to step down, is home to thousands of Syrian refugees. Andrew Raven, Reuters