News / Middle East

Syria's Assad to Address Nation Sunday

In this photo dated June 20, 2011 and released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria, at Damascus University.
In this photo dated June 20, 2011 and released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria, at Damascus University.
VOA News
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is set to deliver a speech Sunday, in a rare address to his embattled nation.

The state-run news agency SANA said Assad will "speak about the latest developments" in Syria, a country wracked by a nearly two-year civil war that analysts say has killed more than 60,000 people. The news agency did not provide further details.

The address will be the president's first in months, and comes as intense fighting between rebels and government forces continues on the outskirts of Damascus.

In this image from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, smoke rises due to shelling in the Damascus countryside, Jan. 2, 2013.
In this image from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, smoke rises due to shelling in the Damascus countryside, Jan. 2, 2013.

​Fighting has raged for weeks near the capital, as rebels continue to press an offensive aimed at toppling the government. Forces loyal to Assad have responded with heavy artillery and deadly airstrkes.  

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported fighting Saturday in suburbs south of the city, with at least 10 fatalities.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
January 06, 2013 5:15 AM
Let me guess he is going to blame the west and al qaeda for all the deaths in Syria, and that he is fighting them. He wont mention whatsoever he is sorry for thousands of civilians he killed (bombed or shot by sniper), tortured , or displaced. He likes to flip things around and blame it on anyone but himself as a way to try and mislead the people of his actual crimes. Who knows maybe he will apologize for dropping cluster bombs in neighborhoods, but I doubt it...
In Response

by: Our Beloved Planet !!! from: USA
January 07, 2013 5:28 AM
That’s all right, we quite agree with your view!
Our dear Anonymous!
You are really a noble person, because you not only love your nation, but also all wretched people the world over.Wishing that, all your noble dreams for your motherland and the whole world will become true soon. Love!

by: Dangerous Consequences from: USA
January 06, 2013 4:57 AM
Assad has used heavy miliary measures (heavy artillery, air forces…) to attack civil Syrians. This makes very painful deaths of many innocent people in Syria.
Therefore, he is not a legal president of Syria any more.
At present, the best way for him is giving up power and returning it to Syrian people as soon as possible.
If he goes on resolving Syrian problems with so wrong ways recently, surely, he will face the worst consequences, in the near future.
In Response

by: Anonymous
January 06, 2013 3:06 PM
You are absolutely correct.

by: Anonymous
January 05, 2013 7:51 PM
His speeches don't matter at all anymore. After terrorizing millions of people in Syria, he is the most wanted terrorist in Syria.

Who would ever listen to the lies that come out of that mans mouth? Him and his father have killed more innocent people than Osama Bin Laden.
In Response

by: Anonymous
January 06, 2013 3:12 PM
RE: idoon Darian

We are not talking about the 1930s or 1967 we are talking about the killing going on now and for the past year of civilians. We are talking about the killing of a so called military against their own homeland. In the modern world this is called "Genocide" not fighting terrorists. You can try and bring up a blame game or try and say what about this or that,. but the proof is in the pudding. During his speech he was still killing people. Meenwhile he is smiling on stage trying to say that everyone he has been killing is terrorists. Do children look like terrorists to you? He drops bombs in civilian areas and thinks he can get away with it. Nobody will stand for this type of activity. His speech was before an auditorium filled with his so called military and their families. To me they are cold blooded murderers inflicting death on civilians or anyone else in their way, They have no respect for human life and even moreso in their own country. There is nothing that you can say that can balance my thinking into thinking he is some sort of good guy, or not a cold blooded murderer.
In Response

by: Kidoon Darian from: Los Angeles.
January 05, 2013 10:11 PM
Where was the world Major FORCES / Powers, all these past years? Do they just woke up?
DO the major powers really have Syria's interest at heart?
If so, why not ask:
1. Ask Turkey to give back the territories they have occupied since 1930 s; The iskandaroon region; NW part of Syria.

2. What about The Golan Heights in South WESTERN PART OF Syria? Stil occupied since 1967?

3. What about minority interests, rigths, the ability to live in post Assad Syria? How much guarantees will there be for the minorities to live in peace, side by side the Muslims?? Who will protect them?
Look what's goIng on in Iraq?

4. The Western Powers must be very serious / fair and objective in dealing with th epopulation in that part fo the world.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs