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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs