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Assad vows to crush 'foreign-backed terrorism' as army targets new cities in Syria


March 7, 2012 - Damascus

Syria President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to crush "foreign-backed terrorism" in the wake of the army turned on new targets after subduing Homs.

Assad stressed that his forces are targeting outsiders rather than home-grown rebels.

"The Syrian people have again proven their capacity to defend the nation and to build a new Syria through their determination to pursue reforms along with the fight against foreign-backed terrorism."ny country draws its strength from the backing of its people," The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

Assad's statement came ahead of two international envoys, United Nations under-secretary for humanitarian affairs, Baroness Amos and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan's visit Damascus.

The Syrian regime forces seized rebel-held towns and struck a bridge used by refugees to escape to neighbouring Lebanon, killing at least six people.

They also launched a major assault on Herak, a town in the southern province of Dera'a, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

But Assad persisted with the rhetoric that he has displayed throughout the one-year uprising that has claimed perhaps 7,000 lives.

Meanwhile, aid workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were kept out of Baba Amr, the formerly rebel-held area of Homs that was captured by government troops last week.

"Despite a green light given to us last Thursday by the authorities, and repeated daily assurances, it remains the case that we have not been allowed into Baba Amr. Security reasons were again given for the refusal of access," a ICRC spokesperson, Sean Maguire said.

ANI

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