In an interview with Syrian Al-Dunia TV channel, Syria's president says that his country faces both a regional and an international battle, therefore it needs more time to resolve them. He stressed that the Syrian forces were advancing.
“We are in the midst of a global and regional war, so no wonder that it takes a long time to finish it,” President Bashar al-Assad said.
He added, “This entire explanation can be summarized by saying that we are making progress. The situation is actually better, but we still have to resolve it. That takes time.”
On Syrian-Turkish relations, the Syrian president asked, "Do you think we will go back due to the ignorance of some Turkish officials or look for a relationship with the Turkish people who stood behind us during the crisis in spite of media propaganda?"
Assad said that he does not support Turkey’s initiative to set up buffer zones in Syria for refugees who flee combat areas. He dismissed the proposal as unrealistic.
The Syrian leader paid tribute to government security forces, who have been fighting rebels nationwide, for their "heroic conduct."
"Despite several mistakes, there is a strong bond between the regime and the Syrian people," Assad insisted, boasting the support of the majority of the country's population.
"Everyone is worried about their country; that is normal. But they (rebels) will not be able to spread fear, they never will," he said.
"I say to Syrians, destiny is in your hands, and not in the hands of others."
However, Al-Dunia TV channel has only broadcast parts of the interview. The complete interview will be on air today, Wednesday evening, at 1800 GMT.
Assad's comments come a day after French President Francois Hollande said that his country together with its partners are closely watching the situation in Syria, in regards to Assad's use of chemical weapons. For the international community, the fact of use of weapons of mass destruction would be a legitimate reason for a direct military intervention. Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened as well.
Moreover, the Syrian Daily al-Watan reported that Syria's vice president, Farouk al-Sharaa, said that the solution of the Syrian crisis should be based on former international envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan and the statement declared by international powers following their Geneva meeting.
"This could help all the Syrians, I mean the government and the opposition, to go into national dialogue and to accept its results if the political will was existed."
Meanwhile, unconfirmed news from a neutral source announced that the Free Syrian Army had destroyed five helicopters at a military airport between cities of Aleppo and Idlib.
According to a story mentioned to Al Arabiya TV via Skype, the fighters of the Free Syrian Army had shelled the Taftanaz military airport with two captured military tanks and had destroyed five military helicopters.
According to Arab press, the interview with Bashar did not indicate the date it was held. Of course, for this, many connotations rises up, as couple of weeks ago, during the Eid prayer, Assad's face was scared and unstable, and in this recent interview he spoke without mentioning prominent incidents such as the bombing of Damascus. This might mean that the interview had been held since a long time but published to media nowadays for political reasons.
As for the Free Syrian Army and their declarations about burning five helicopters, there is a point that must be clarified. Free Syrian Army members were actually soldiers and officers in Assad’s regime before defecting. For this, it is not surprising that they know every single detail about the regime. Adding to that, many members of the regime still are defeciting and joining Free Syrian Army. Obviously when they join it, they will also provide the Free Syrian Army with all required information, in particular about weapons, stores and movements of the regime army.
The Free Syrian Army depends on itself, and I trust all the information they announce regarding their operations against the regime of Assad. I think they are developing themselves on the ground despite the lack of equipment.