World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday his country was in a state of war and ordered his newly appointed government to direct all its efforts towards vanquishing the uprising against him.
"We live in a real state of war from all angles," Assad told a cabinet he appointed on Tuesday in a speech aired on Syrian state television. "When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war."
Assad dismissed the arguments of Western countries that have been calling for him to step aside. The West "takes and never gives and this has been proven at every stage," he said.
"We want good relations with all countries but we must know where our interests lie," he said.
Syrian forces are accused by the United Nations of killing more than 10,000 people during a 16-month revolt that has posed the greatest threat to four decades of Assad family rule.
The president's speech - which also included comments on the benefits of renewable energy and the strategic importance of the Syrian agriculture sector, while troops and rebels battled on the outskirts of Damascus - will be seen as an escalation of Assad's firm rhetoric that has shown no sign of compromise.
He said Syrians would learn to support the government once it better explained its plans for political reforms.
"When we transparently communicate with citizens, the citizens will understand and support us," he said.
"As I have always said, the problem is communicating with the citizen... When we don't explain, the citizen does not know what their capabilities are, so the minister or the government will not be evaluated objectively."
This is what we know about the Boeing passenger plane crash that happened in Cuba on Friday, as the aircraft was taking off from Havana to a city on the east of the island nation
Polls opened early Sunday in Venezuela in elections boycotted by the main opposition parties, and heavily criticized by the United States, the European Union and many Latin American governments.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been hospitalized in the West Bank, a Palestinian official said on Sunday, providing no further details on his condition.
Militants were ambushed while preparing to attack a village southwest of Kirkuk
After weeks of warm words and diplomatic backslapping, Pyongyang abruptly threatened to pull out of the planned summit next month because of US demands for "unilateral nuclear abandonment", according to the North's official KCNA news agency.
Demonstrators call for end to Israeli occupation, independent investigation into Gaza killings
Dirceu lost an appeal against his conviction for money laundering, corruption and membership of a criminal group, at a court in Porto Alegre on Thursday.
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won 25 seats, up from 19 in the 2014 election
Turkish presidential spokesman calls US move on relocating embassy 'last nail in coffin'
Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim wrote on Twitter that "fast moving lava from Fissure 20 has crossed Pohoiki Rd near Malama Ki Place," near the Puna forest reserve.
Cabello, a Socialist party boss and former speaker of the National Assembly, was targeted along with his wife, brother and an associate deemed a front man acting on Cabello's behalf.
Report says region will be 1st area of Syria from which US is 'officially disengaging', apart from humanitarian aid
Suspected shooter has been taken into custody as well as 2 persons of interest
Boeing 737 crashes shortly after take off from Jose Marti International airport in Havana
News conference held and final declaration issued as summit concludes
Palestine is ‘not a priority’ for some Arab countries, leading Nahda member says.