By Ria Novosti
Mass protests erupted in major Syrian cities against the Arab League’s decision on Saturday to suspend the country’s membership in the organization.
Tens of thousands people carrying national flags hit the streets of Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Tartus and other major cities to express their support for President Bashar Al Assad and protest the league’s decision, which will come into force on November 16.
Most of the protesters in the Syrian capital of Damascus gathered near the embassies of the United States and Qatar, which currently holds the rotating chair in the Arab League.
Syrians believe that the Arab League’s decision violates the principles of the Arab solidarity and was made under the pressure from Washington.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani said earlier that the regional body will impose harsh economic and political sanctions against President Assad’s government.
Syria, one of the Arab League’s founders, will be also banned from participating in the regional body’s meetings.
Last week, Damascus agreed to accept the Arab League peace plan on Syria. Under the plan, Syria would release political prisoners detained during the ongoing conflict, and all military equipment would be removed from urban areas. Syria also obliged to allow Arab League and world media representatives into the country.
According to UN estimates, more than 3,000 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March, when first anti-regime protests began.