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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid