Assad: 'They aren't revolutionaries, they're terrorists'
In a televised address to his people on Sunday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that those seeking to topple his rule are not revolutionaries, they are 'terrorists
"It is a fight between our country and its enemies. It is not a fight
for power, it is a fight between the people and the terrorists that are
trying to divide the country," Assad said.
"Some people call this
a revolution, there is no link between these people, their acts, and a
revolution," the Syria president asserted.
"A real revolution is based on a philosophy which aims to improve a country rather than to take it backwards," he added.
was the 47-year-old leader's first speech in months and his first
public comments since he dismissed suggestions that he might go into
exile to end the civil war, telling Russian television in November that
he would "live and die" in Syria.
Insurgents are venturing ever
closer into Damascus after bringing a crescent of suburbs under their
control from the city's eastern outskirts to the southwest.
forces blasted rockets into the Jobar neighborhood near the city center
on Saturday to try to drive out rebel fighters, a day after bombarding
rebel-held areas in the eastern suburb of Daraya.
"The shelling began in the early hours of the morning, it has
intensified since 11 a.m., and now it has become really heavy. Yesterday
it was Daraya and today Jobar is the hottest spot in Damascus," an
activist named Housam said by Skype from the capital.
Assad's last public comments, in November, rebels have strengthened
their hold on swathes of territory across northern Syria, launched an
offensive in the central province of Hama and endured weeks of
bombardment by Assad's forces trying to dislodge them from Damascus's
Syria's political opposition has also won
widespread international recognition. But Assad has continued to rely on
support from Russia, China and Iran to hold firm and has used his air
power to blunt rebel gains on the ground.
With the conflict
showing no sign of abating, Syria's deputy foreign minister visited Iran
on Saturday to seek to maintain the support of Assad's main ally in the
Iran's Fars news agency said Faisal al-Makdad would meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials.
Those who expect Assad's western-born wife to talk any sense into him are dreaming. He's not going to leave Syria alive. The question is how much longer it will take and how many more people will die in the process. The World doesn't really care. It's just Muslims killing Muslims anyway.
Labels: Bashar al-Assad, Syrian uprising