Syrian opposition at home played down the speech delivered by the country’s President Bashar al- Assad Sunday, who said Syria is subject to a “real war” and blamed foreign-backed terrorists and extremists for being behind the daily grind of violence.
Hasan Abdul-Azim, head of the National Coordination Body, dismissed the speech saying “it brought nothing new about the requirements of the Syrian protest movement,” suggesting that the country’s leadership is still handling the crisis with security and military resolutions.
Abdul-Azim contended that the government hasn’t lived up to its commitment to the six-point peace plan brokered by UN, Arab League (AL) joint envoy Kofi Annan and that “it is still waging war against its own people that rose up in a peaceful revolution.”
“It (the government) is still branding the revolution as the work of armed, terrorist, Salafi and Takfiri gangs,” Abdul-Azim told Xinhua.
Another opponent, Luai Hussain, head of Tyaar Binaa Syria or the Current for Building Syria State, said Assad’s speech contained a new phrases, which is admitting the existence of a crisis in Syria that needs to be handled politically.
He, however, said the new acknowledgment is not enough and that it would still be verbal so long as it’s not paralleled with action on ground.
Hussain said the problem is not within the speech but rather within the actions currently undertaken by the government on ground.
For its side, the main opposition coalition abroad, the Turkish- based Syrian National Council commented on the speech, saying “it is a continuation of the blood solution.”
In his speech on Sunday, Assad said his country is not facing a political crisis but rather a project of sedition and a real war that aims at destroying the homeland, stressing that there would be no letup in fighting terrorism.
Addressing the new parliament, Assad said “we are facing a real war,” adding that dealing with a real war differs from dealing with internal issues. He said the weapon of the sedition campaign against Syria is terrorism.
The Syrian leader stressed that the political process is moving forward in the country but stressed that terrorism is also moving unabatedly.
Assad said Syria’s doors are wide open to whomsoever wants a genuine reform, a truthful dialogue, and their hearts are also open to engage every sincere Syrian citizen in the process of raising up the state.
“There is no justification for terrorism under any pretext and any title … there is no tolerance with terrorism or with whoever that might support it,” he said, adding that the government would not take revenge, either now or in the future.
On the massacre in the central village of Houla near Homs province which left over 100 people dead, almost half of whom were children, Assad said, “we would remain feeling ashamed whenever we recall this brutal crime … the human language is incapable of describing what we saw in Houla.”
“They want to ignite a sectarian rift. We are living in a climate of fraud,” he said, urging all Syrians to prove themselves to be a civilized nation and stand alongside each other.