News / Middle East

    Assad Insists Syrian People Still Support Him

    VOA News
    Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad is insisting that he still has the support of the Syrian people and army, even as violence raged on and reports emerged that more of his military officers defected to Turkey.

    In portions of an interview aired Friday by Russia Today television, President Assad acknowledged that "divisions" exist within his country. But he denied that the 19-month uprising against him is a civil war.

    "The problem is not between me and the people," insisted Assad. "I do not have a problem with the people because the United States is against me and the West is against me and many other Arab countries, including Turkey, which is not Arab of course, is against me. If the Syrian people are against me, how can I be here?"

    As Syrian government forces pounded rebel targets across the country Friday, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported that at least 26 military officers, including two generals and 11 colonels, fled across the border. Turkish officials also say more than 8,000 Syrians fled violence in Syria since Thursday, bringing the total number of refugees in Turkey to around 120,000.

    Opposition

    Meanwhile, Syria's fractured opposition meeting in Qatar were reported to be near an agreement on the formation of an inclusive government-in-waiting that would allow for more coordinated action against Assad's government. Several participants in the talks, which include the Syrian National Council (SNC), Islamists, leftists, and secularists, reported progress, saying a new leadership could be agreed upon by Friday.

    The opposition hopes new leadership will attract international support for the rebel uprising. The U.S. has said the SNC, the main group in exile, cannot be considered as the legitimate leader and called for the opposition to firmly reject infiltration by Islamist militants in the fight to oust Assad.

    Safe haven offer rejected

    President Assad, meanwhile, firmly rejected offers to accept safe haven outside his country. In portions of the interview that aired Thursday on Russia Today, the 47-year-old leader promised to "live and die in Syria."

    British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested earlier this week that Assad could be allowed safe passage if that would guarantee an end to the country's civil war.

    The Syrian conflict, which began as a protest movement against the rule of President Assad, is entering its 20th month. An estimated 36,000 people have died as the government crackdown against protesters developed into a full-blown civil war.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rabbani from: UK
    November 11, 2012 11:50 AM
    What is the point of having commenst f you are only going to publish the ones which suit your bias reporting and opinions? Yes I did post a comment, noting wrong with it, except t highlighted your bias in this article

    by: Rabbani from: Sweden-UK
    November 11, 2012 2:25 AM
    Why do you not tell it like it is? the truth the facts? the Syrian love Assad that is a fact!!
    there is no civil war in Syria. The turmoil consists of an invasion of Syria by foreign forces organized by Turkey, Jordan and the Hariri clan in Lebanon. The funding and training along with special forces and intelliegence support to enable terrorist attacks and mass murder; comes from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with logistic and unknown other support from the U.S., France and the British.

    by: Anonymous
    November 09, 2012 11:55 PM
    If the Syrian people are against you how can you be there Assad? You ask?

    Simple, the Syrian Opposition simply haven't gotten you in their gun sights yet. Only reason you are still there is because you are using your military to try and stay in power. News for you, you have already crumbled and you are only holding on by a fine thread. Your days are over as a leader of Syria, you are just taking up space of the new Syria to come once you are permanently removed by force.

    Of course the West and Turkey are against Assad, number one reason is human rights violations and war crimes. I think there is a lot more than the west and Turkey against the ex Syrian dictator. Displacing hundreds of thousands of people, bombing civillian neighbourhoods, killing the children, the mothers, the elderly... The list goes on, everyone hates a cold blooded killer, so get your head out of your butt Assad. There is a whole lot more that hate you.

    The majority of Syria is against Assad, the only ones who aren't against Assad is the minority scared for their safety or the people getting paid in cash by Assad.

    Long live Syria, and the people!
    To hell with Assad.


    by: Truesage Idowu from: Nigeria
    November 09, 2012 7:47 PM
    This reminds me of Moammar Gadhafi's statement.
    "My people love me all my people love me"
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    November 10, 2012 4:38 AM
    Exactly the same yes. We will see what Assad says when he is captured on the upcoming video. I wonder if they will treat him just as good as they did Gadhafi, Assad better hope so.

    by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago
    November 09, 2012 8:27 AM
    I am certain that Assad is not in denial, and his gloomy demeanor during meeting with foreign officials and reporters - as shown in Russian TV- is a clear indication that he feels his impeding doom. But he cannot afford to admit that publicly fearing that such an admission might create a panic within his regime, which might cause his army to implode! It happened to Iran's Shah Reza Pahlevi, Romania's Nicolae Chaucesku, Serbia's Slobodan Miloshevik, and Ivory Coast's Lauren Gbagdo. They tried to play cool up to their last moments, but they knew - as I am sure Bashar Assad does- that their fate was sealed.

    Bashar Assad knows that his fate is sealed, and I am sure he has packed his belonings, has arranged his destination with a host country - probably Iran or Russia, and has an airplane on standby in the tarmac of Damascus airport ready to fly him out. But he has also decided to wait up to the last minute, hoping that Syria's splintered opposition to his regime might fizzle out. Nikos Retsos, retired professor
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    November 09, 2012 11:58 PM
    You are right, he already has his escape planned.
    I hope either the FSA or the Syrian Military point their guns at Assad and stop him as he is trying to run away.

    Assad is a weasel, until he is cornernered he will continue to act barbaric. I hope his capture is posted on youtube soon when it happens.

    by: kahn keller from: kingsport
    November 09, 2012 7:58 AM
    hummmmm... this guy is not the sharpest tool in the box...just
    who does he think is shooting at his military?...oh yes...
    outsiders...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora