Assad confident of victory against rebels

"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," state news agency SANA quoted Assad as saying.

Assad confident of victory against rebels

World Bulletin / News Desk

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday he was confident of victory against rebels in a devastating 28-month-old civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people and sent nearly two million fleeing abroad.

Insurgents have seized large swathes of territory, but Assad's forces have staged a counter-offensive in recent weeks, pushing them back from around the capital Damascus and retaking several towns near the border with Lebanon.

"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," state news agency SANA quoted Assad as saying.

Assad has framed the revolt against four decades of his family's rule as a foreign-backed conspiracy fought by Islamists. When pro-democracy protests started in March 2011, a military crackdown eventually led to an armed insurrection.

Addressing officers on the 68th anniversary of the Syrian army's creation, Assad said soldiers had shown "courage in the face of terrorism ... and the fiercest barbaric war in modern history".

U.N. investigators say Assad's forces have carried out war crimes including unlawful killing, torture, sexual violence, indiscriminate attack and pillaging in what appears to be a state-directed policy. They say rebels have also committed war crimes, including executions, but on a lesser scale.

Assad has relied on Alawite-led army units and security forces from the start, but has turned increasingly to loyalist militia armed and funded by Damascus to fight the rebels.

Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2013, 11:58
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