Assad: We won't bargain even for a crumb of land

Syria wants to retrieve the Golan Heights to the "last crumb of earth," President Bashar Assad wrote in a missive to his military, Israel Radio reported Wednesday. Assad said Syria would not bargain for its land, and that the country was now stronger militarily and "not afraid of any country's threats." The Syrian president's statements, written Tuesday, contrast with statements made concurrently by his foreign minister, Walid al Moallem, who said Syria was ready to take part in a US-sponsored international Mideast peace conference to be held later this year. Moallem said Syria would join the conference despite the country's stance that Washington's upgrading of its arms sales to Israel is causing instability in the Middle East.