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Middle east

Syria capable of confronting attack, says Assad

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-01

Syria “is capable of confronting any external aggression”, President Bashar al-Assad told Syrian state television Sunday, after US President Barack Obama said he would seek approval from Congress to carry out a military strike against Damascus.

Syria is capable of confronting any external attack from the US and other Western countries, President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday.

His comments came after US President Barack Obama said there should be a military strike on Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, but that he will seek approval from Congress before any armed intervention.

"Syria ... is capable of confronting any external aggression," state television quoted Assad as saying at a meeting with Iranian officials.

"The American threats of launching an attack against Syria will not discourage Syria away from its principles ... or its fight against terrorism supported by some regional and Western countries, first and foremost the United States of America."

Syria generally refers to rebels fighting to topple Assad as "terrorists".

Meanwhile, Syria on Sunday urged US lawmakers to show "wisdom" in their vote on a proposed military strike on Damascus.

Labelling Obama "hesitant, disappointed and confused", Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad again denied his regime was behind a poison gas attack on August 21 that precipitated calls for military action.

"We ask the US Congress to show wisdom," Muqdad told reporters in Damascus.

Muqdad also launched a broadside against France, which supports military action against Damascus, accusing its leaders of being "irresponsible" and trying to dupe their own people.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-09-01

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