Syria’s Assad Says Rebels Will Not Win

Posted September 21st, 2012 at 4:45 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says opposition fighters will not be victorious in their fight against the government, but says the “doors of dialogue” remains open.

In comments, to be published by Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Araby Friday, Mr. Assad says the armed groups exercise terrorism against the state, are not popular within society and will not be victorious in the end.

He was quoted as saying that he welcomes dialogue with the opposition, “but those who choose arms have put themselves in confrontation with the Syrian army”.

The president's comments come as a Syrian rights group reports regime bombardments in several northern areas.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported fighting between rebel and regime forces in northeastern Aleppo Friday. Explosions were also reported in and around the capital, Damascus

The observatory says 250 people were killed in fighting across the country on Thursday including 165 unarmed civilians, 34 rebel fighters, 5 defected soldiers, and 46 regular soldiers.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the government and the opposition in Syria appear determined to resolve the crisis militarily. Mr. Ban said Syria will be a top issue as he meets with world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, saying they must urgently address the situation.