Syria's Assad pictured at Eid prayers in Damascus

Updated: 2014-10-04 19:22


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Syria's Assad pictured at Eid prayers in Damascus

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (2nd L) attends Eid al-Adha prayers at al-Nu'man bin Bashir mosque in Damascus October 4, 2014, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has made a rare public appearance at a mosque in Damascus at the start of a Muslim holiday, a photo posted on the presidency's official Twitter feed on Saturday showed.

Assad is shown seated on the floor of al-Numan bin Bashir mosque in the front row of a group of men in prayers for the Eid al-Adha celebration.

The president is not frequently seen in public in Syria, which has descended into a civil war between fighters wishing to overthrow him and pro-government forces. It appeared the picture was taken early on Saturday.

One of Assad's last public appearances was in July at the presidential palace when he was sworn in for a new term and gave a defiant speech, vowing to recover all Syria from insurgents.

The capital remains in government control but there are frequent clashes between government forces and insurgents on the outskirts.