Syrian forces fired on protesters who took to the streets of Aleppo on May 17, wounding several people at the biggest rally seen in Syria’s second city since a revolt erupted last year, a watchdog said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said demonstrators also suffered gunshot wounds in Douma, a key protest hub near Damascus, but did not provide any casualty figures. “Thousands of people demonstrated in various districts (of Aleppo) despite the repression,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “These are the most important events in Aleppo since the beginning of the revolt,” he told AFP in Beirut.
Besides Aleppo, protests demanding the ouster of Assad also took place in Damascus, the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, northeastern Hasaka, Homs in central Syria, and northwestern Idlib, said the Britain-based Observatory. The government said its forces foiled a suicide bomb attack in Aleppo last Friday, a day after twin bombings in Damascus killed 55 people and wounded nearly 400. It has repeatedly blamed such attacks on “terrorists.”