President Bashar al-Assad addressed the Syrian parliament on Tuesday vowing that the war against terrorism will be carried on until it is uprooted and that they will liberate every inch” of the country like they have done in Palmrya.
He boasted that the heavily contested Aleppo divided between government forces, rebels and extremists “will be the grave where the dreams and hopes of that killer are buried” in reference to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan who strongly calls for his resignation.
The President was speaking at the maiden meeting of the parliament elected in April in elections held only in government-controlled areas. The ruling Baath Party holds a majority in the assembly as it continues its dominance that began under Hafez al-Assad’s rule; Bashar al-Assad father.
Speaking about the fight against rebel and extremist groups, Assad linked the future of the country to the outcome of the more than five-year old war saying, “our only option is victory, otherwise Syria will not continue.”
There are fears that Kurds, who are playing an important role in battling militants of the Islamic State group and al-Nusra Front, under the banner of the armed YPG could push for an independent Kurdish state because they have already established their authority over wide parts of the country. Erdogan who calls for the departure of Assad and strongly supports the Syrian armed opposition groups is against Kurds having an independent state as he considers them as terrorist and a threat to Turkey.
Since September, the Syrian president has been enjoying the support of Russian forces and they have helped recover territories lost to opposing groups. Moscow has reduced its presence in the country but on Monday it stated that its air forces would provide “the most active” support to Syrian government troops so as not to let Aleppo and the surrounding area be controlled by rebels.
Assad dismissed reports of “differences, struggles and divisions” among his forces and allies before thanking Russia, Iran, China and Hezbollah for their support.