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Middle east

War in Syria has turned in regime’s favour, Assad says

© AFP PHOTO / HO / SANA

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-14

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday said the country’s civil war has turned in the regime’s favour.

In a televised address carried by the state broadcaster, Assad said "this is a turning point in the crisis, both militarily in terms of the army's achievements in the war against terror, and socially in terms of national reconciliation processes and growing awareness of the truth behind the (attacks) targeting the country."

Syria's army has in past months made a series of advances, overrunning a string of opposition bastions near the Lebanese border and in the central province of Homs.

Assad's statement comes at a time of no political solution in sight for a war which has killed more than 150,000 people and forced nearly half the Syrian population to flee their homes.

Since the start of a revolt against Assad in 2011, Damascus has blamed all violence in the country on a foreign-backed "terrorist" plot.

Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah, a strategic ally of Assad's regime which has sent thousands of fighters into Syria, has played a key role in helping turn the tide in Assad's favour.

A series of truces between the warring sides have also been agreed, mainly in southern Damascus and the outskirts of the capital.

The ceasefires came after months of suffocating army sieges that had led to the deaths of scores of people, as a result of medical and food shortages.

The truce agreements stipulated the rebels should hand over their heavy weapons in exchange for aid delivery.

Opposition activists in several areas where truces have been reached frequently accuse the regime of violating the agreements, however.

Syria's conflict broke out after the regime unleashed a brutal crackdown against an Arab Spring-inspired peaceful protest movement calling for political change.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-04-13

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