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Sunday, January 06, 2013

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.
It 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.
Assad's 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.
Since 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 outer neighborhoods.
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 region.
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.

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