News / Middle East

    Assad Vows to Rid Syria of 'Terrorists;' Violence Mounts

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus,  August 7, 2012.
    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, meets with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, August 7, 2012.
    VOA News
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to purge his country of what he called "terrorists," as security forces continue to fight rebels who have tried to seize control of parts of Aleppo and Damascus.

    Syrian state-run media quoted Mr. Assad Tuesday as saying he would show no leniency towards "terrorists."  He met with Iran's visiting national security council secretary, Saeed Jalili.  

    Syrian state television showed the meeting, the first time Mr. Assad has appeared on television in two weeks.

    Jalili pledged continued Iranian support to Syria, which he said was part of an "axis of resistance" against foreign opponents.

    Earlier Tuesday, Iran said it was holding the United States responsible for the lives of 48 Iranians who were kidnapped by Syrian rebels in Damascus on Saturday.

    State-run media say the Foreign Ministry told the Swiss envoy in Tehran that it expects the U.S. to use its influence to secure the Iranians' release without any preconditions.

    Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran because Washington and Tehran do not have diplomatic relations. The U.S. has said in the past it is only providing non-lethal assistance to Syrian rebels.

    Iran says the 48 abducted were religious pilgrims, but the rebel Free Syrian Army described them as Iranian Revolutionary Guards on a "reconnaissance mission."

    Activists say dozens of people were killed in anti-government-related unrest across Syria on Tuesday. 

    Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012
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    Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012
    Riyad Hijab is sworn in as new Prime Minister by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency, June 26, 2012
    Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is time for world powers to begin planning for what will happen after Mr. Assad's regime falls.  She commented during a Tuesday appearance with South Africa's foreign minister in Pretoria.

    "The intensity of the fighting in Aleppo, the defections, really point out how imperative it is that we come together and work toward a good transition plan," said Clinton.

    Clinton said she intended to discuss the issue with Turkish officials during her visit to Istanbul on Saturday.

    Iran's foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, visited Turkey on Tuesday to discuss the Syrian crisis and the abducted Iranians with counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.  Salehi also has asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for help in securing the kidnapped Iranians' freedom.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that more than 1,300 Syrians had crossed the border into Turkey over the past day, raising the total number of Syrian refugees there to nearly 48,000.

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

    • A truck catches flames after it was hit by rockets fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter plane during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
    • A general view shows a street after clashes between Free Syrian Army fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad, in Salah Edinne district, in the center of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter fires an anti-aircraft gun as a Syrian Air Force fighter bomber fires rockets during an air strike in the village of Tel Rafat, some 37 km (23 miles) north of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
    • In this photo taken on guided government tour, Syrian army forces are seen at al-Sijen district, in the center of Aleppo, August 9, 2012.
    • A Syrian man reacts after the funeral of 29 year-old Free Syrian Army fighter, Husain Al-Ali, who was killed during clashes in Aleppo, in the cemetery in town of Marea on the outskirts of Aleppo city, August 9, 2012.
    • Men search for bodies under rubble of a house destroyed by a Syrian Air force air strike, in Tel Rafat, about 37 kilometers north of Aleppo, Syria, August 8, 2012.
    • In this citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, Syrians attend the funeral procession of a man killed in Idlib province, August 7, 2012.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter runs after a Syrian Army tank shell exploded in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo, August 5, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters fire their rifles during clashes with Syrian Army soldiers in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
    • Free Syrian Army fighter holds a RPG launcher during clashes with Syrian Army in the Salah al- Din neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
    • This image map provides an overview of the activity seen in Aleppo from July 23, 2012 to August 1, 2012 (base image collected on July 29, 2012).
    • More than 600 probable artillery impact craters, represented here with yellow dots, were identified in Anadan, in the vicinity of Aleppo.
    • In this August 5, 2012 photograph, Syrians pass by a destroyed house in town of Atareb outskirts of Aleppo, Syria.
    • Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover during clashes with Syrian Army soldiers in the Salah al- Din neighborhood of central Aleppo August 5, 2012.
    • Syrian women mourn the loss of loved ones in Aleppo fighting, August 5, 2012.


     

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    by: End_Wage_Slavery from: Belly of the Beast
    August 15, 2012 5:03 PM
    Hopefully when they overthrow the Assad regime they make this a real, thoroughgoing revolution instead of simply regime change. In other words they need to scrap current notions of bourgeois property relations and move toward complete and direct worker ownership of the businesses. Nothing less than worker ownership will guarantee that the workers of Syria will not be exploited. Anything less than that and it isn't a real revolution, just a change of dictators.

    by: Robert George from: Dubai
    August 09, 2012 2:45 AM
    Iran, the only supporter of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the region, seems to have admitted its complicity. For years Iran has been meddling with nations in the Middle East with the sole objective of establishing its hegemony over the entire region and effectively countering the West.

    by: rod from: usa
    August 08, 2012 9:08 PM
    The USA has been planning and influencing the Arab spring and all that has happened since how else do you think these ordinary people can over take and army of high powered weapons and war planes, attack helicopters missiles and so on yea right regular people can bet all the armies in the middle east, without help from the U.S. come on people

    by: Battle0360
    August 08, 2012 4:24 PM
    I aggree with assad on this one he should countinue to try to take syria back these are terriosts that are trying to take over syria these arent peaceful protestors these are violent extremists they excuted 4 half naked men in there underwear for being pro assad resigme members and shot them full of hundreds of rounds of akm ammunition also global extremists are comeing fight in syria and a few of them actually fought against the us military and nato in iraq they call the rebels there brothers that theyve come to help out and also theres signs of alquada with these rebels trying to take over syria that place will be like libya if assads resigme falls libya now sucks every since those people took over libya and syria will to if assads resigme collaspes there iran will prob be next if assad resigme falls...

    by: HUANG ZHOU from: China
    August 08, 2012 12:17 PM
    Stiring up hatred and violence between sects leading to the civil war in Syria and then blaming that war on Syrian president is the dirty work of Clinton and Obama. They are the son and daughter of the bitch.

    by: Anonymous
    August 08, 2012 11:53 AM
    A few thousand civillians and FSA members need to group up and storm Assads palace, so the public can deal with Assad one on one.

    by: Anonymous
    August 08, 2012 11:48 AM
    Terrorists? You mean the civillians of Syria? What is Assad going to do? Kill his entire population? Labelling the civillian population as terrorists is disgusting. Assad and his dad have been terrorising their population for a number of years. If anyone is a terrorist here, it is Assad, and the entire world knows it. Quit the BS talk Assad, you best be preparing for your capture, say your prayers.

    by: beancube
    August 08, 2012 12:20 AM
    If Assad steps down, every single individual of the Syria population will turn to fight those terrorists, but Assad wants himself to be the biggest threat to the Syrian civilian population. Syrians knew that long time ago.

    by: Wayne from: Olympia WA
    August 07, 2012 11:48 PM
    But will anyone be left alive in Syria when Assad has cleansed all the "Terrrorists?

    by: Mr. Jason Alan Ward from: WGC, England
    August 07, 2012 8:55 PM
    What kind of religious precept requires it's adherent pilgrims to visit a civil war zone ?
    I'll tell you...
    Suicide Pilgrims. Just a variation on suicide bombers, but with less risk, and a crafty effort to both use religion in an attempt to rile other Muslims, and inculcate the US.
    Just how low can these people get ?
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