Share This Page

Embattled President Assad to address Syrian people

| Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, 9:32 p.m.

Syrian President Bashar Assad will deliver a speech on Sunday in a rare address to the nation, state media said, as rebels fighting to topple his embattled regime pressed ahead with an offensive on the capital.

The official SANA news agency said in a brief statement on Saturday that Assad will speak about the latest developments in Syria. The speech would be the first by the leader since June, and it comes amid intense fighting between government troops and rebels on the outskirts of Damascus.

Assad has rarely spoken in public since the uprising against him began in March 2011. In each of his previous speeches and interviews, the president has dug in his heels, even as Western powers have moved to boost the opposition in Syria's civil war.

In his last public comments, Assad vowed in an interview with Russia Today on Nov. 8 that he would “live and die in Syria.”

Fighting has raged for weeks in the neighborhoods and towns around Damascus that have been opposition strongholds since the Syrian revolt began.

The uprising started with peaceful protests but morphed into a civil war that has killed more than 60,000 people, according to a recent United Nations recent estimate.

Diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian crisis have failed to bring an end to the bloodshed, although the international community continues to push for a peaceful settlement.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.