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article imageAssad says he can crush Syrian rebellion with iron fist

By Abdul Kuddus     Aug 5, 2013 in World
Damascus - More than two years into Syria’s civil war, President Bashar al-Assad proclaimed that he has the ability to crush the Syria rebellion with an iron fist, according to reports.
Ever since protesters took to streets in March 2011 and were fired upon leading to an armed uprising, Syria’s civil war has claimed more than 100,000 lives and millions have been displaced.
Addressing prominent members of Syria’s elite Sunday, Assad said:
“There cannot be political action and progress on the political track while terrorism hits everywhere.”
“No solution can be reached with terror except by striking it with an iron fist."
Bashar al-Assad’s family has ruled Syria for more than four decades. With a strong support from Russia, Assad has remained defiant throughout the conflict.
While Russia remains a strong ally and arms supplier to Assad, the Western powers are yet to decide on the option of a military intervention in Syria.
Further, Russia and China have blocked several UN Security Council resolutions by the United States and European powers to impose sanctions on Assad.
According to UN investigators and human rights reports, Assad's forces have carried out war crimes including unlawful killing, torture, sexual violence, indiscriminate attacks causing enormous loss of lives and destruction.
More than 100,000 people have died in the 28-month conflict, according to the United Nations.
Also, there are countless reports of rebels committing war crimes, including executions. Moreover, there is a growing presence of foreign fighters among rebel ranks and reports of al-Qaida-linked radical groups taking control of some rebel-held territories.
Despite the rebels making much gains, Assad regime, backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have succeeded in pushing the rebels out and regaining key areas such as Homs which has helped Assad to secure its grip on Damascus.
According to the Washington Post, “while Assad has lost control over large parts of the country, he may well be able to hang on and even expand his core territory in the future.”
Meanwhile on the diplomatic front, the United States, Russia and the United Nations are still struggling to convene a meeting in Geneva to broker a peace deal between the Syrian government and opposition groups.
Washington Post aptly sums up the scale of devastation Syria underwent in the last 28 months:
“The conflict has laid waste to the country’s cities, shattered its economy and killed more than 100,000 people since March 2011. The bloodshed also has fanned sectarian hatreds, and many fear that the divisions now entrenched in a country where Alawites, Sunnis, Shiites, Druse and Christians coexisted for centuries will make it hard in the future for people to reconnect as citizens of a single nation.”
More about Syrian civil war, Bashar alAssad, Damascus
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