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Defiant Assad vows to defeat Syrian rebels

Syrian president tells pro-regime TV there will be no "surrender' and that rebels' victory would spell end of Syria.

Last Modified: 18 Apr 2013 02:13
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Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has defiantly vowed to fight and defeat rebels fighting his government, saying victory for the armed opposition would spell the end of Syria.

"We have no choice but victory. If we don't win, Syria will be finished and I don't think this is a choice for any citizen in Syria," Assad said in Wednesday's interview with the pro-regime television channel Al-Ikhbariya.

"The truth is there is a war and I repeat: no to surrender, no to submission."

The truth is there is a war and I repeat: no to surrender, no to submission.

President Bashar al-Assad

Assad, who has previously delivered defiant addresses declaring he will emerge triumphant, also said Western nations backing al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels fighting his regime would pay a high price.

"The West funded al-Qaeda in its early stages in Afghanistan and paid a dear price later," the president said in the interview.

"It is now supporting al-Qaeda in Syria, Libya and other places and will pay the price later in the heart of Europe and in the heart of the United States."

France and Britain have been at the forefront of backing Syria's armed opposition while the United States is moving to provide nonlethal aid.

Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have also been instrumental in backing the rebellion in which Al-Nusra Front, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, has come to play a significant role.
The interview aired on the same day Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, told Congress the Pentagon was sending about 200 soldiers from a US Army headquarters unit to Jordan to assist efforts to contain violence along the Syrian border.

'Securing weapons'

The troops will plan for any operations needed to ensure the safety of chemical weapons in Syria, Hagel said.

The 1st Armored Division troops are largely planners and will replace a similar number of US forces that have been in Jordan for some months. They will include specialists in intelligence, logistics and operations.

In the interview, al-Assad accused Jordan of allowing rebels to infiltrate Syria.

"We cannot believe that thousands of insurgents are entering Syria with their weapons, at a time when Jordan was capable of stopping and arresting one person carrying a simple weapon for the Palestinian resistance," he said.

"The fire will not stop at our border and everybody knows that Jordan is exposed as Syria is," Assad said.

The Syrian conflict, which began as an uprising in March 2011, has grown into a civil war, killing an estimated 70,000 people and pitting pro-Assad forces against several armed groups under the umbrella of Syrian National Coalition.

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Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
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