Assad. Image: jan kranendonk
Assad defiant; vows to fight 'terrorism'
Beirut, June 3, 2012
Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad said on Sunday authorities would maintain a crackdown against the armed opposition but were still ready for dialogue with political opponents.
'We will continue firmly confronting terrorism, leaving the door open for those who want to return,' Assad told parliament. 'I urge all those who are still hesitant to do so, to take this step. The state will not take revenge.'
Authorities were prepared to hold dialogue with political opponents who did not have outside backing 'or have not partcipated in terrorism,' he added.
He said the country was facing a war waged from outside the country and that terrorism was escalating despite political steps including last month's parliamentary election.
'We are not facing a political problem because if we were this party would put forth a political programme. What we are facing is (an attempt) to sow sectarian strife and the tool of this is terrorism,' Assad said.
'The issue is terrorism. We are facing a real war waged from the outside,' Assad said. - Reuters