A handout picture released by SANA on August 26, 2013 shows Bashar al-Assad giving an interview in Damascus
A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 26, 2013 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia in Damascus. Assad said Thursday that Syria will defend itself against any attacks, as Washington and its allies mull military action in response to the alleged use of chemical arms. © - SANA/AFP/File
A handout picture released by SANA on August 26, 2013 shows Bashar al-Assad giving an interview in Damascus
AFP
Last updated: August 29, 2013

Assad: Syria will defend itself against aggression

President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday that Syria will defend itself against any attacks, as Washington and its allies mull military action in response to the alleged use of chemical arms.

"Syria will defend itself in the face of any aggression, and threats will only increase its commitment to its principles and its independence," the embattled leader told a visiting delegation of Yemeni politicians, according to state television.

"Syria, with its resistant people and valiant army, is determined to wipe out terrorism which is being backed by Israel and Western nations to serve their own purposes of sowing division in the region, fragmenting its people and forcing them into submission," he said in his first reaction to the potential US strikes.

"The people are the guarantors of victory and that is what is happening in Syria," said Assad, whose regime uses the terms "terrorism" or "terrorists" to describe the rebels battling to end his rule.

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