The flow over fixed, hollow, rigid circular cylinders with and without two series of equally spaced holes of equal diameter (0.2 cylinder diameter) along the surface of the cylinder has been studied by means of dye injection flow visualization, particle image velocimetry (PIV), and force measurements. Holes are connecting the front and rear stagnation lines or the upper and lower sides (i.e., they are positioned at +/- 90 degrees from the stagnation line) of the cylinder. The center-to-center distance between holes was 7-hole diameter. The experimental data were obtained from water channel and wind tunnel measurements performed at Reynolds numbers of 6900 and 20000, respectively. It was found that cylinder with holes located on the surface at an angle +/- 90 degrees from the front stagnation line behaves like a double-chamber synthetic jet actuator when subjected to cross-flow. The interaction of synthetic jet arrays with external flow over the side surfaces instigates the three-dimensional instabilities in the near wake and produces a 14.4% drag reduction compared to the drag of a plain cylinder. It was shown that cylinder with holes located on the surface at angles of 0 degrees and 180 degrees from the front stagnation line also instigates the three-dimensional instabilities in the near wake, but the primary mechanism responsible for drag reduction is self-bleed through downstream holes. This system producing drag reduction was found to have a drag coefficient equal to about 78.9% of that for a plain cylinder. Important flow structures inside and behind the cylinders with holes were also identified.