Syria's Assad marks birthday as strike threat recedes
DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syria's President Bashar al-Assad marks his 48th birthday on Wednesday with the threat of US-led strikes against his regime in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack apparently receding.
A Syrian pro-regime site called on residents of the capital Damascus to demonstrate their support for Mr Assad by joining a convoy of cars in the Mazzeh district to honour him.
Mr Assad, a British-trained ophthalmologist who has three children, succeeded his father Hafez, who died in 2000.
He came to the position of heir unexpectedly, after his brother Bassel was killed in a car accident.