DAMASCUS, Syria, April 14 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the three-year civil war is turning in the government’s favor, noting the overrunning of rebel strongholds near the border with Lebanon and in the central province of Homs.
“This is a turning point in the crisis, both militarily…and socially in terms of national reconciliation processes,” he said Sunday, the state news agency SANA reported. “The state is trying to restore security and stability in the main areas that the terrorists have struck. We will go after their positions and sleeper cells later.”
Since the start of the revolt in 2011, the Syrian government has blamed the violence in the country on a foreign-backed terrorist plot, rejecting any grassroots political movement for regime change. Assad said the violence is rooted in a bid to stop, with the aid of allies in Iran and Lebanon, the “resistance axis.” He added his belief that Isarel “has played a key role in supporting the terrorist groups.”
Syria “is not only being targeted because of its geo-political significance, but because of its historic role in the region and its big influence on the Arab street,” Assad said. [Guardian]