SYRIA – Syria’s crisis will only be solved by stamping out “terror”, President Bashar al-Assad said, in reference to rebels fighting his regime.
In a rare speech on Syrian state television, Assad also dismissed the political opposition to his regime as a “failure” that could play no role in solving the country’s brutal war.
“No solution can be reached with terror except by striking it with an iron fist,” said Assad.
“I don’t think that any sane human being would think that terrorism can be dealt with via politics,” he added.
“There may be a role for politics in dealing with terrorism pre-emptively,” said Assad, adding that as soon as “terrorism” has arisen, it can only be struck out.
In March 2011, a widespread protest movement calling for political change in Syria broke out.
In response, the regime unleashed a brutal crackdown against dissent, while systematically labeling dissidents and rebels as “terrorists” and refusing to recognize the existence of a popular revolt.