News / Middle East

Assad Insists Syrian People Still Support Him

Syria's Assad Talks to Russia Todayi
|| 0:00:00
X
November 09, 2012 3:54 PM
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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid