Assad vows to ‘liberate every inch’ of Syria under opposition control
A Syrian man reacts following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held neighborhood of Bustan al-Qasr on June 5, 2016. (AFP/Baraa al-Halabi)
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed Tuesday to "liberate every inch" of the country from groups opposed to his rule, while threatening that forces loyal to rival Turkey will be destroyed in northern Aleppo province.
"Like we liberated Palmyra we will liberate every inch" of Syria, al-Assad said in a speech before the newly elected rubber-stamp parliament. Palmyra in central Syria was taken back from Daesh this year.
"Aleppo will be the grave where the dreams and hopes of that killer are buried," al-Assad said, referring to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claiming the Turkish president was backing the opposition as part of a project to advance Islamism in the region.
Turkey is a staunch backer of Syrian opposition groups, especially in the north of the country, in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, and demands al-Assad's ouster.
"Our war against terrorism carries on until it is uprooted," al-Assad said.
Syria's parliament convened on Monday for the first time since elections that were held in April only in government-controlled areas and boycotted by opposition forces.
The ruling Arab nationalist Baath Party holds a majority in the assembly, as it has in every Syrian parliament elected since al-Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, seized power in 1970.
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