DAMASCUS, Syria, June 7 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad promised Tuesday "we will liberate every inch of Syria" against terrorists.
Addressing the newly installed Parliament in a nationally televised speech, Assad said he intends to stop the five-year challenge to his rule by rebel forces, even those with the U.S.-led Western coalition.
"As we liberated Tadmur [Palmyra] and before it many areas, we will liberate every inch of Syria from their hands. Our only option is victory, otherwise Syria will not survive," he said. The ancient town of Palmyra in central Syria was recaptured from the Islamic State in March.
Syria is getting renewed help from Russia, which conducted air attacks over northern Syria last week.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia planned additional air support for the government in the Aleppo area after a rebel offensive.
U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab forces pushed into territory north of Raqqa last month.
The Syrian army also is attempting to reach Raqqa, which is the de facto capital of IS, also known as known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.
Three months ago, Russia supported a U.S.-backed cease-fire and withdrew most military from the country.
Peace talks launched in Geneva failed as disagreements involved whether Assad should remain in power.
In the speech, Assad said Syria would be ruled by a "unity government" not a "transitional governing body" sought by the opposition.
"Our war on terrorism will continue not because we like war. They imposed war on us," Assad said. "The bloodshed won't end until we root out terrorism, wherever it is."
Assad was less defiant last July with noted loses by the Army and had to relinquish some areas.