Over 100 dead as Assad says Syria in state of "real war"
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, facing 15 months of a bloody popular revolt, said he was determined to win "the war" in his country, where violence has been steadily intensifying with at least 116 dead Tuesday.
Three people were killed Wednesday morning in a "terrorist" attack carried out against the official television channel Al-Ikhbariya in Damascus, reported the Syrian state news agency SANA. A terrorist group carried out a "terrorist" attack against the headquarters of the pro-regime channel and ransacked its premises. Three journalists were killed, SANA said, without elaborating on the nature of the attack.
This comes as Turkey has warned it would retaliate to any violation of its border with Syria after the June 22 crash of one of its fighter planes by Syrian air defenses. Last night there were reports about Turkish military reinforcements along the Syrian border.
Amid the escalation of the violence, Russia, an ally of the Syrian regime, said it was willing to participate in an international meeting on the Syrian crisis, tentatively scheduled to June 30 inGeneva. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has demanded that Iran, another close ally to Assad, would also be invited. UN officials in Geneva said that they have yet to receive confirmation about the meeting. According to the French Ambassador Gerard Araud, Nasser al-Qidwa, an assistant to international envoy Kofi Annan, announced that he would "take the decision whether to arrange this meeting on Wednesday.
"We live in a real war situation (...). All our policies and all sectors must be placed at the service of victory in this war," Mr. Assad told to his ministers at the first meeting of the newly formed Syrian government.
In another development, Burhan Ghalioun a prominent exiled opposition figure, made a brief visit to Syria and spent a few hours with "revolutionaries" in the city of Idleb, bordering Turkey. The regime is "crumbling to the point when it can no longer control anything," he said.