Assad vows to win war despite territorial losses
“Every inch of Syria is precious,” Assad told local dignitaries in Damascus, at the same time acknowledging losses within the country. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Bashar al-Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar al-Assad,
Click here to add Damascus as an alert
Disable alert for Damascus,
Click here to add Hizballah as an alert
Disable alert for Hizballah,
Click here to add Syrian Arab Army as an alert
Disable alert for Syrian Arab Army
In his first public address in a year, embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday reiterated his commitment to winning the country’s bloody civil war while acknowledging his forces had suffered losses in some areas on the country.
Assad’s speech comes as Turkey begins airstrikes on Daesh positions in Syria and Kurdish forces advance against the militant group in a ground offensive in the north.
“We are not collapsing. We are steadfast and will achieve victory,” Assad said in his speech given to local dignitaries in Damascus. “Defeat does not exist in the dictionary of the Syrian Arab army.”
Assad offered justification for losses by the Syrian army in the country, where regime forces and Hezbollah now control less than of Syria’s 185,000 square kilometers.
“It was necessary to specify critical areas for our armed forces to hang on to," Assad said. “Concern for our soldiers forces us to let go of some areas.”
He added: “Every inch of Syria is precious.”
The United States is training vetted moderate rebels who oppose the Assad regime in neighboring Jordan and Turkey, but so far in the civil war extremist militants have had the most success on the ground. Those include Daesh, who holds about a third of the country.
Speaking about political dialogue, Assad said any initiative that is not based on fighting “terrorism” will be “hollow” and “meaningless,” AFP reported.