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article imageSyrian President Assad gives rare TV address

By Eileen Kersey     Jan 6, 2013 in World
Damascus - The SANA news agency, the state television of Syria, announced that President Bashar al-Assad was going to make a rare TV appearance to address the people.
Ahead of his address an announcement was made that the President would talk about "the latest developments in Syria and the region," reported the BBC. Civil unrest continues and there have been reports of widespread fighting close to the country's capital, Damascus.
Seven months ago President Assad addressed the people claiming that outside forces were at work in the country. In November he used the same words uttered by the inner circle of the Gaddafi regime in relation to Libya, that he would "live and die in Syria"
Reports of fierce fighting yesterday and significant gains for the opposition may have prompted his address. Rebels are fighting hard to break through heavy defenses, in and around Damascus.
Early reports by SkyNews as the President began to speak reported,
The embattled leader appeared before cheering supporters in the capital Damascus.
With insurgents fighting their way closer to the seat of his power, he spoke about the latest developments and "suffering" in Syria.
The President addressed an audience at the House of Arts and Culture, which was packed to the rafters. President Assad in his speech once again blamed "outside forces" for the Syrian conflict. He continues to maintain that the "battle" is not between the people of Syria and the regime but rather a fight against the country's external enemies.
He told them "The nation is for all, and we must all protect it" Assad claimed that the regime had looked for a political solution but it was not available. In words, once again reminiscent of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, he called on his supporters to mobilise against the enemy. This time he was referring to the rebels calling them "terrorists" and "murderous criminals".
The President rightly acknowledged that there is currently a great deal of suffering in Syria. As he said There is no place for joy while security and stability are absent on the streets of our country. He continued to lament the pain that Syria is suffering in this crisis.
The BBC has reported Assad as saying that his opponents are "enemies of God and puppets of the West".
Assad claims to have a plan for peace but gave no details. He was mobbed as his speech ended by cheering supporters in the auditorium.
On Friday NATO began to deploy Patriot missiles to Turkey, allegedly for use to counteract missiles or aircraft from Syria. The uprising started around 21 months ago and the UN believe that around 60,000 people have been killed since then.
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