Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 17 APR 2014
06:31 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
21 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Assad says opposition divided, war to be long: report
This picture on February 12, 2013, shows Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heading a cabinet meeting in the Presidential palace in Damascus. AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA
This picture on February 12, 2013, shows Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heading a cabinet meeting in the Presidential palace in Damascus. AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA
A+ A-

BEIRUT: The conflict in Syria will likely drag on for a long period and divisions in the opposition pose an obstacle to dialogue with Damascus, visitors to President Bashar Assad quoted him as saying, Lebanon’s As-Safir reported Monday.

“The battle is still long because we are fighting terrorism which all the forces in the world have failed to defeat,” the Syrian president was quoted as saying.

“But things have become much better at both the political and military levels,” he added.

According to the Lebanese daily, Assad was quoted by visitors to the Presidential Palace in the Syrian capital.

Assad said that although “the war will not end anytime soon,” his troops are determined to “eradicate” the phenomenon of terrorism in his country.

Earlier this month, Assad was quoted by his visitors as saying his troops had gained the upper hand against rebels in the two-year-old conflict and could win in "two weeks" should Turkey halt its support to insurgents.

Damascus insists it is waging a war against foreign-backed “armed gangs” seeking to topple Assad. The United Nations says over 70,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict in March 2011.

In the As-Safir report Monday, Assad admitted that the militant Nusra Front, which the United States has listed as a terror group, had “overpowered” the state on a number of occasions but insisted that his forces were in a better shape than Damascus’ opponents.

When asked to comment on reports of an increased presence of gunmen, breaches to the states’ security by the Nusra Front and the weakened state of the economy, Assad said: “This is all true but our situation remains much better than the situation of those fighting the state, whether inside or outside Syria, and their supporters.”

Assad was also quoted as saying that he would only engage in dialogue with the opposition based “on our own principles.”

“We will engage in dialogue with those who want dialogue, [but not if] they are terrorists, but based on our own principles and we did not accept conditions imposed on us at the start of the crisis and we will not do so [now],” he said.

In January, Assad said that there would be no dialogue with people he called traitors or "puppets made by the West."

Syrian authorities have given no formal response to several offers of talks by the main opposition coalition.

Assad also cited divisions in the ranks of the Syrian opposition ranks, saying this posed an obstacle to dialogue.

“We never closed our door to dialogue and we will not do that, but we should know who we will be talking to” said Assad.

“Every day, we witness more disintegration of the opposition ... let them agree first and then we will see what to do,” he said.

“We already launched dialogue with the internal opposition and talks have led to positive results, and we said that Syria’s doors are open to everyone except terrorists, who we will keep fighting to the end.”

 
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS