The Syrian army is engaged in a "crucial and heroic battle," President Bashar Assad said Wednesday in a speech on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the army (Army National Day), official SANA news reported.
"The fate of past, present and future of our people and our nation depends on this battle. The army is engaged in a crucial and heroic battle ,on which the destiny of the nation and its people rests. The enemy is among us today, using agents to destabilise the country, the security of its citizens and continues to exhaust our economic and scientific resources," Assad said.
According to him, "The enemies wanted to prevent our people from their national decision but they were surprised by the Syrian people who stood as one man against their schemes and defeated them, leading them to look for a way out of their defeats, plot more schemes and assign the task of carrying out such schemes to local agents."
Assad told the troops in a written statement, "You are the representatives of the people's values." And he added: "My confidence in you is great and the confidence of our people that you are the defender of their just causes."
Meanwhile, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters at the U.N. headquarters that the Free Syrian Army fighters in Aleppo have tanks and heavy weapon such as portable air defense systems also known as MANPADs (man-portable air-defense systems) and surface-to-air missiles.
More than 400,000 people have already fled and over two million became forced migrants since the battle began in Aleppo on July 20, according to the U.N. and Nesirky said many of the inhabitants remaining have taken shelter in schools and other public buildings, Al Arabiya news reported.
On Tuesday, 154 people - including 35 civilians, 62 soldiers and 27 rebels - were killed in violence across the country. Half of them were killed in Aleppo, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.
Furthermore, the Associated Press reported that on Wednesday the Turkish army has staged tank maneuvers near its border with Syria days after the Turkish army reinforced its border troops with tanks, anti-aircraft missile batteries and armored combat vehicles.
According to the report, 25 tanks performed high-speed maneuvers near the Turkish town of Nusaybin, a few kilometers north of the Syrian town of Qamishli. According to Turkish sources, the exercises were overseen by local commanders and are expected to continue for a couple of days.