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Associated Press
Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad shout slogans and wave their country flag with Assad's portrait and Arabic words read:"Syria Assad, God is protect it," as they protest to show their solidarity to their President, in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Aug. 20, 2011. When Bashar Assad inherited power in Syria in 2000, he was seen by many as a youthful new president in a region of aging dictators, a fresh face who could transform his father's stagnant dictatorship into a modern state. Now this once-popular image of Assad, as a reformer constrained by members of his late father's old guard, has vanished in the aftermath of one of the bloodiest government backlashes of the Arab Spring. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman)

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