Assad remains intransigent – annan warns of religious war

Assad remains intransigent - annan warns of religious war

Accordingly, the syrian leadership wants to continue the "battle against terrorists," as the opposition movement calls it. Assad rejected any responsibility for the massacre of hula with more than 100 dead: "what happened in hula and other places in syria are brutal massacres, which even monsters are not capable of doing."

The head of state, who has fallen into international isolation, spoke out one day after the arab league intensified the pressure on his regime. League ministers called for a timetable to implement UN mediator kofi annan’s peace plan. They also decided in doha on saturday that syrian state television would no longer be broadcast on the nilesat and arabsat satellites.

The syrian regime uses the term "terrorists" to describe the protest and democracy movement that has been campaigning since march 2011 for an end to assad’s rule. Since then, far more than 10,000 people have lost their lives, according to the UN. The opposition speaks of 14 000 dead. For the hula massacre, UN observers say there is strong evidence that the regime’s armed shabiha gangs were behind it. Opposition groups had called for the parliamentary elections on 7 december. May called it a farce and boycotted it for that reason.

For the bloodshed, as in other speeches before, assad blamed only terrorists and foreign forces. "This is a foreign war with domestic weapons," he said during his 70-minute speech. The demonstrators are, according to assad, unemployed syrians who were paid to participate in anti-government rallies.

Although the leadership has taken significant steps toward political reform, violence continues, assad said. "The political process is advancing, but terrorism is not receding". He rejected a dialogue with the opposition abroad.

UN mediator kofi annan warned that the danger of civil war in syria was growing by the day. It is worrying that the various religious groups could be drawn more and more into the conflict. This could also spread to syria’s neighboring countries.

"A flat fire must be avoided that could set the whole region on fire," auben minister guido westerwelle (FDP) told the "bild am sonntag" newspaper. "In view of the highly complex and dangerous situation in syria, we must not create the false expectation that a quick solution can be forced through military intervention."

As a consequence of the violence, saudi arabia called for a protection zone for civilians in syria. "The real solution to this crisis in syria is to protect syrian citizens from military violence," said egyptian minister prince saud al-faisal.

The issue of syria was also expected to play a dominant role at the russia-EU summit on sunday evening in the baltic metropolis of st. Petersburg play. UN veto power russia joins china in world security council in preventing tougher punitive measures against assad regime.

Russia criticized the UN human rights council on sunday. The condemnation of syria is unbalanced and biased. Attacks and bombings by the rebels in syria have not been denounced, criticized the aubenministerium. In this context, "bandits and terrorists" were hunting down public officials and public figures in syria. There is no alternative to UN mediator annan’s peace plan.

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