The Syrian president made the remarks during his meeting with the Iranian minister of communication, who handed him an invitation from his Iranian counterpart to attend the coming summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Iran.
“Syria has been able to overcome the pressures and threats it has faced for years and is able to get out of this crisis thanks to the strength of its people and commitment to unity and independence,” SANA cited Assad as saying on Thursday.
Syria has been the scene of deadly unrest since mid-March 2011 and many people, including security forces, have lost their lives in the violence.
The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters, but Damascus blames ”outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, stating that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
In its periodic update to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the inquiry commission said unlawful killing, torture and ill-treatment and violation of children’s rights continue at the hands of the Syrian government and armed opposition groups. The commission has also taken note of an increased use of improvised explosive devices by anti-government groups.
The commission said a total of 478 police officers and 2,091 individuals from the military and security forces were killed in a year since March 2011.
The report is a new precedent as the international community now seems compelled to admit the existence of armed groups that have become one of the main players in the Syrian conflict with the daily reports of assassinations, bombings and burglaries.
Observers and experts believe that a third party is now involved in the 15-month unrest in Syria and that it’s not operating on the behest of neither the government nor the opposition. They say the third player consists of armed extremists who are believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida.
What has strengthened the recent claim is the style of the assassinations, which have a sectarian nature as most of the killed army officers in Syria are from the Alawite minority, to which the Syrian president and the ruling elites belong.
Assad’s Thursday comments came during a meeting with the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s special envoy and Minister of Communications and Information Technology Reza Taqipour.
Taqipour described the crisis in Syria as part of a broader scheme targeting the entire Middle East region, and reiterated Iran’s sustained support for the Syrian nation in the face of the circumstances they are faced with.
Despite the opposition’s clear vision about their aim, which is toppling Assad, differences and division have always prevailed and prevented them from truly forging a united front in the face of the regime.
Earlier in the day, Syria’s main opposition coalition, the Turkey-based Syrian National Council, said it has accepted the resignation of its Paris-based chief Burhan Ghalioun, who has recently offered to leave his post after increasing criticism to his leadership from other opponents in the council.
Observers believed that the reason behind the fissure in the council is the lack of commutability and consensus among the council’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood and other political rivals that represent the secular side. Ghalioun is known of his secularism.
On Thursday, armed terrorist groups assassinated a lieutenant colonel and his son at a suburban district of the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to state-run SANA news agency.
The gunmen headed off the car of Lt-Col Wafiq Deib at Jdaidet al-Fadel district outside Damascus, while he was driving his 13- year-old son to school, and showered it with bullets, killing the officer and his young son instantly.
Also, SANA said the bodies of a woman and her four children were found dumped at countryside of central Hama province a day after being kidnapped by armed groups.
Meanwhile, the oppositional Local Coordination Committees said that 38 people were killed Thursday across Syria, blaming the regime for the deadly incidents.
While on the other Hand , On Thursday, the new Syrian parliament began work under a new constitution approved by a majority of voters in a February referendum, and three members of the independent judicial body, the Supreme Constitutional Court, were also sworn in before the president
On May 7, Syria held the first parliamentary elections under the new constitution that paved the way for a multi-party political system in the country.
About 7,195 candidates, including independent and opposition figures, contested for the 250 parliamentary seats.
The general polls, which saw more than half of the eligible voters cast their ballots, were part of the reforms promised by President Assad.