Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad has dampened hopes of peace talks after he said that he expects the war in the country, which has raged for almost two-and-half-years , to be over “within months”. His words came at an “itfar” on Sunday in Damascus, the evening meal that breaks the fast during Ramadan, where he spoke to members of Syria’s clergy and business and arts communities.
Bashar al-Assad said: “Terrorism and politics are polar opposites. Politics and progress can’t function while there is terrorism. Terrorism must be attacked so that the political system can work correctly.”
The Syrian Defence Minister and Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces, Fahed al-Freij, met with soldiers on Monday in the city of Homs. He praised the military for confronting Syrian rebels on state television describing the gains they have made near the Lebanese border as a “huge military miracle”.
Amateur videos reportedly showed intense fighting had taken place on Monday around Mannagh air base in Aleppo Province. Bombs being dropped from an aircraft were also on the footage.
Some reports have said that a suicide bomb attack took place at the base.
Rebels have claimed that they need more foreign military support to defeat Assad’s forces.
The Syrian president has stated that the country is not facing a popular revolt but instead a conspiracy backed by the West and Gulf Arab states.
More than 100,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011.