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Assad to defend Syria against foreign ‘aggression’
August 29, 2013, 6:40 pm


The Syrian government has accused Washington of seeking to frame the regime to justify military action [AP]

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad said Thursday his country would defend itself against any foreign “aggression”, according to state-run SANA news agency.

The Syrian leader told a group of visiting Yemeni politicians that US and Western threats of military action would only make the country more adherent to its principles and independence.

Assad’s remarks came after both the US and United Kingdom said that they are contemplating military action against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack which killed hundreds near the capital Damascus. Both countries said they had evidence that Assad’s regime was responsible for the attack, but have yet to give details to the media.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said MPs would vote Thursday on a government motion on how to respond to last week’s suspected gas attack near Damascus. 

On Tuesday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a BBC interview that the US is ready to launch strikes on Syria should President Barack Obama order an attack.

The Syrian leader also expressed determination to eliminate terrorism “that is supported by Israel and other Western countries to serve their interests in fragmenting the region and subduing its people.”

Last week the Syrian opposition claimed that some 1,300 people were killed in a chemical wapons attack carried out by the Syrian army on militant strongholds.

The Syrian government denies the claim and has accused Washington of seeking to frame the regime to justify military action.

Meanwhile, South Africa says it is alarmed by the “dangerous rhetoric pointing to the possibility of a military intervention” in Syria and does not believe military action will contribute to a sustainable solution.

Source: Agencies