Syrian President Assad confident he will quell uprising
Rebels beaten back by military counter offensives in ongoing civil war
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed confidence of victory against the rebels in the ongoing civil war that has ravaged his nation over the past two years. Assad made these comments at a visit to the town of Daraya, southwest of Damascus which was once overrun by insurgents that has since been retaken by his army.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, right, expressed confidence of victory against the rebels in the ongoing civil war that has ravaged his nation over the past two years.
"If we were not sure that we were going to win in Syria, we would not have the ability to resist and the ability to continue fighting for more than two years against the enemy," Assad was quoted as saying.
While insurgents have seized large swathes of territory, Assad's forces have since staged a counter-offensive in recent weeks. Rebels have been pushed back from around the capital Damascus and have retaken several towns near the border with Lebanon.
Assad has called those who dare decry his family's four decades of iron-fisted rule as a foreign-backed conspiracy fought by Islamist "terrorists." When pro-democracy protests started in March 2011, a military crackdown eventually led to an armed insurrection.
A huge explosion hit a majority Alawite, which is the same sect as the president - neighborhood of the central city of Homs on Thursday, blasting a fireball hundreds of yards into the air, video posted on the Internet by opposition activists showed.
The blast killed at least 22 people including soldiers and civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring group said.
United Nation investigators say Assad's forces have carried out war crimes including unlawful killing, torture, sexual violence, indiscriminate attacks and pillaging in what appears to be a state-directed policy. The other side of the coin is that anti-government rebels have also committed war crimes, including executions, but on a lesser scale.
Both sides accuse the other of using chemical weapons. A chemical weapons investigation team is scheduled to visit three sites where alleged attacks have occurred, the United Nations says.
It is hard to say if the trip will be able to establish who was behind the attacks. One attack in the northern town of Khan al-Assal was in March and samples of Sarin gas can degrade within weeks. Sarin is a fast-acting nerve agent that was originally developed in 1938 in Germany as a pesticide, and was used in the Tokyo subway attacks of 1995.
Weapons inspectors will only determine scientifically whether banned chemical agents were used in the 28-month-old conflict, and not who used them, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which works with the United Nations on inspections.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Middle East News
- Amazing Stone Age masks go on display in Jerusalem
- 3,300 year old Selfie? Silver earrings from Biblical era discovered in northern Israel
- Syria to replace Afghanistan as nation with highest refugee population
- New film draws attention to plight of Christians in the Middle East
- Latest death toll in Syrian civil war: More than 140,000
- Barrel bombs used in Aleppo send Syrians fleeing for their lives
- Only Catholic Church appears able to aid starving population of Homs, Syria
- Demolition of Palestinian homes spikes on eve peace negotiations
- What's Really Behind the Persecution of Christians in the Middle East?
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?