Here is video of Syrian Dictator Bashir al-Assad delivering a speech in public in Damascus today. Assad was defiant, saying he is fighting terrorists and foreigners trying to take over the country. Assad also thanked Russia, China, and Iran for their support:
UK GUARDIAN: Bashar al-Assad has pledged to continue fighting “terrorist” violence and urged foreign countries to end support for his enemies while also offering a national dialogue and a constitutional referendum to end Syria’s bloody crisis.
The Syrian president used an hour-long speech in Damascus on Sunday to propose what he called a comprehensive plan that included an “expanded government”. But there was no sign he was prepared to step down as the first stage of a political transition – a demand of all opposition groups. “I will go one day, but the country remains,” he said.
The Syrian leader referred repeatedly to plots against his country and the role of al-Qaida, long portrayed as the leading element in what began as a popular uprising in March 2011. Syria was not facing a revolution but a “gang of criminals”, he said.
“We are now in a state of war in every sense of the word,” the president told supporters. “This war targets Syria using a handful of Syrians and many foreigners. Thus, this is a war to defend the nation.”
It was hard to see how his latest speech offered even a glimmer of hope for a way out of the bloody impasse between the regime and rebels in a conflict which the UN said last week had claimed 60,000 lives over 21 months. . . Assad also thanked Russia, China and Iran for supporting Syria in the face of hostility from the US, Britain and France. . . .Read More