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Assad fans vent over Syria at Qatar soccer match
Published Thursday 08/11/2012 (updated) 11/11/2012 14:48
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Children play football in the streets of Syria's Homs.
(Reuters/Yazan Homsy, File)
BEIRUT (Reuters) -- Syria blames the state of Qatar for arming rebels bent on overthrowing President Bashar Assad. Qatar has accused Assad of genocide. On Thursday afternoon, the two countries battled it out on the soccer field.

"Our souls, our blood, we sacrifice them for Bashar," the Syrian fans screamed, waving their national flag, as the under-19s played in the United Arab Emirates in an Asian Football Confederation tournament.

Twitter was ablaze with politicized messages on the game from a group of pro-Assad social media enthusiasts.

"Doesn't matter who wins a football game, at the end #Syria is kicking #Qatar's mercenaries asses everyday," said a Twitter user whose tag is @ProSyriana.

The game was broadcast live on Syrian state television, though the commentators steered clear of politics.

Peaceful pro-democracy protests hit Syria's streets in March 2011 but were met with live ammunition. Nineteen months later, Assad is fighting a civil war against a majority-Sunni Muslim opposition. Assad is an Alawite, a sect that is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Damascus said from the beginning that the uprising was a foreign-backed conspiracy and ever since, Assad supporters have directed vitriol at Sunni states Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

"#Qatar players (are) falling down like #FSA scum," said @Syriancommando, a prominent online activist, referring to the Free Syrian Army, a group of Syria army defectors who joined rebel fighters.

In the end, after a Syrian red card and a couple yellows, Qatar won 2-1 but fell out of the tournament on points, while Syria stayed in.

"#Qatar u may have won the battle but u didn't win the war. #Syria goes on to play next game, Qatar is out. We'll win the real war too," said @Partisangirl, a Syrian YouTube commentator.
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1 ) faisel / sham
09/11/2012 07:12
stupid article.any idea if they were 'alawites'

2 ) George Taweel / Amman
09/11/2012 09:45
Syrians are all well known in their stupidity all their life. Upon all this people like Bashar ( Allawi ) should be taken to hell for the discrimination and abuse happening in Syria. All what is happening in Syria with the kidnapping, stealing, and etc... are Bashars people and not the free govt. Bashar Pls Take ur kids, wife, and go to ur home town and over their u might make a good group of people and u may rule that area.

3 ) hariri / al qaida
09/11/2012 14:47
yes because syria beat saud 5-1 last week

4 ) brian / australia
09/11/2012 15:52
this media guy almost cant believe that syria may be under attack by terrorists

5 ) faisel / sham
10/11/2012 04:53
@'George Taweel' .i was being sarcastic.u zionist bigot
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