Assad: Progress being made in fight against rebels

Syrian president claims that the country is “in the midst of a global and regional war” and therefore "victory needs time."

August 29, 2012 10:24
1 minute read.
Syrian President Bashar Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad 370 (R). (photo credit: Sana / Reuters)


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Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday claimed that Syria is “in the midst of a global and regional war” and that "victory needs time."

Assad's statement were part of a rare interview with the Syrian Dunya Television Channel, the full contents of which were slated to air Wednesday.

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In the interview, Assad summarized the current state of affairs in Syria by saying that his government was "making progress" and that "the situation is actually better." He claimed that if given more time, his regime could "resolve" the matter internally.

The comments came on the heels of an interview given earlier this week by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem to Britain's The Independent, in which he reinforced the regime's perspective that it is fighting an international war and criticized the US for "supporting terrorism in Syria."

Moallem accused the US of supporting Syria's rebel forces by supplying them with communication equipment. He added that in his estimation "the US is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments."

He blamed Europe for "supporting 17 resolutions against the welfare of the Syrian people."

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Both Assad's and Woallem's interviews follow a week of ramped-up attacks by regime forces in and around Damascus that killed hundreds of people and displaced many others.

With respect to the growing Syrian refugee crisis, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday Turkey had discussed with the United Nations the possibility of housing Syrian refugees inside Syria and that Ankara expected the world body to take concrete steps towards this.

"We expect the United Nations to engage on the topic of protecting refugees inside Syria and if possible sheltering them in camps there," Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara.

Up to 5,000 refugees a day have been crossing into Turkey over the past two weeks and the United Nations warned on Tuesday that up to 200,000 people could settle in Turkey if the conflict worsens.

Turkey has floated the idea of a "safe zone" to be set up for civilians under foreign protection.

In his interview Tuesday, Assad said talk of a Western-imposed buffer zone on Syrian territory was unrealistic.

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