The war-torn nation of Syria has declared a national day of mourning over singer Zayn Malik’s departure from One Direction.
Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and the leaders of several opposition rebel groups appeared on state television together this morning. They read a joint statement lamenting Malik’s decision as an “unprecedented tragedy”, and urged the Syrian people to remain strong in the face of such horrors.
“We were hoping to invite all five members of One Direction to perform in Damascus as soon as the war was over,” Assad lamented,”But now that dream has been destroyed.”
“The profound sense of loss we feel in our hearts this morning knows no bounds. But together we can overcome this crisis and emerge as a stronger people.”
Video emerging from the capital Damascus shows throngs of civilians and soldiers weeping the the streets upon hearing the news. Thousands are said to be hospitalized for emotional distress.
“It’s terrible,” says one local doctor,”This is the worst thing I’ve seen in a long time.”
Malik has been a member of tween pop sensation One Direction since the group was assembled in 2010. HIs sudden departure sent shock waves across the world.
Syria has been in the midst of a brutal civil war since 2011. In that time an estimated 300,000 people have been killed as a result of the fighting.