News / Middle East

Assad Vows to Remain in Syria

A grab from Addounia pro-regime Syrian TV shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking during an excerpt of an interview in Damascus, August 29, 2012.
A grab from Addounia pro-regime Syrian TV shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking during an excerpt of an interview in Damascus, August 29, 2012.
Edward Yeranian
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he will not leave his country and warned against foreign military intervention in Syria. Meanwhile, Syrian rebel fighters are reportedly intensifying attacks, claiming to have captured another border post with Turkey in the Kurdish northeast of the country.  

President Assad told Russia Today TV that he has no intention of leaving Syria, despite recent comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron that a deal could be arranged for him to go into exile.

"I'm not a puppet, I was not made by the West to go to the West or any other country. I'm Syrian, I'm made in Syria and I have to live in Syria and die in Syria," he said.

Assad also said that his country is the "last stronghold of secularism and stability in the region," and that he did not expect any Western intervention in his country, because it would have a "domino effect" across the world.

Inside Syria, bombing missions have reportedly intensified. Amateur video showed Syrian government warplanes flying over parts of the capital, Damascus Thursday. Witnesses said schools were closed for the second straight day as the situation remains tense.

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, said the rebels are reported to have made major gains on the ground in and around the capital.

"There are indicators that the Syrian army is not doing much fighting," said Khashan. "The front in Damascus has been reactivated and the Free Syrian Army is making gains around Damascus."

Rebels from the southern city of Daraa claimed to have fired mortar rounds at the presidential palace in Damascus' Mazzeh district Wednesday.  

Syrian TV reported that the shells missed the palace, but hit a nearby residential neighborhood. And, a mortar bomb fired from Syria reportedly hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Thursday, according to the Israeli military.

Analyst Khashan said some members of President Assad's Alawite sect have been trying to find a compromise with the rebels. He said the rebels and Alawites in a town near the Lebanese border have been negotiating to try to resolve their conflict.

Meanwhile, humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate for tens of thousands of Syrians, as winter approaches and more and more people are left homeless.
Peter Maurer, who heads the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the organization is unable to cope with the growing humanitarian crisis.

"We are in a situation where the humanitarian situation due to the conflict is getting worse," said Maurer. "And despite the fact that the scope of the operation is increasing, we can't cope with the worsening of the situation."

Another aid agency, the Union of Syrian Relief Organizations, said pro-government forces have hijacked foreign aid shipments, redirecting them to regime supporters.

Clashes were reported in the northeastern Syrian border town of Ras al Ain Thursday, after rebels claimed to have captured it from government forces a day earlier.

Meanwhile, Syrian opposition members are holding talks Thursday in Qatar on a plan to create a broader, more unified council of rebels and political figures pushing to oust Assad.

The proposed group would later choose a temporary government for Syria and coordinate with the revolt's military wing. The plan would give about a third of the seats to members of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile.

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ashraf from: USA
November 08, 2012 2:34 PM
He's great president Assad Forever Syrian
we support you Assad
to stop foreign military crime in Syrian
GOD be with you

by: Sugarstalk from: Panama
November 08, 2012 2:06 PM
From where Assad is, after what he has done, neither him or the memory of him can ever get back. He wants to die in Syria? So be it, it'll happen sooner than later.

by: Michael from: USA
November 08, 2012 8:09 AM
History has shown, from the time of Ancient Greece, onward that the use of weapons on a regional basis results in confusion among the ruled and not stability among the ruled

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs