DAMASCUS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned Thursday of the price of foreign intervention as the balance of power seesawed in the war-torn country where Syrian rebels claimed control of yet another border town with Turkey.
In an interview with Russia Today (RT) which airs on Friday, Assad warned of the possible fallout of the country's domestic conflict, should the West insist on armed foreign intervention.
"We are the last stronghold of secularism and stability in the region and coexistence, let's say, it will have a domino effect that will affect the world from the Atlantic to the Pacific and you know the implications on the rest of the world," he told RT, which posted the transcript on its web site.
The 47-year-old president, who spoke in English with his words translated into Arabic, also said he was not "a puppet" of the West, vowing to never be forced into exile and to die in his homeland.
"I was not made by the West to go to the West or to any other country," he said. "I am a Syrian; I was made in Syria. I have to live in Syria and die in Syria."
Twenty months on, a domestic turmoil has shown no signs of abating with government forces and opposition fighters engaged in fierce fighting for the control of strategic spots across the country.
Free Syrian Army fighters reportedly captured a town on the Turkish border on Thursday, leading to clashes with the government forces which had left 10 people dead.
The town, located in the northeastern oil-producing province of Hasaka, 600 km from Damascus, is an important crossing which can open another strategic supply route for the opposition.
The report could not be independently confirmed.
Violence also raged in the capital Damascus, where at least seven people were killed Thursday in separate incidents, according to the state-run SANA news agency.
"Terrorists" have detonated a booby-trapped car at Najha area in Damascus' suburb, killing three people and injuring scores of others, SANA said.
In another Damascus district of Midan, three mortar shells exploded, killing a woman and a child, and injuring several others.
Clashes have also raged on in Damascus's Kafar Souseh orchards between the Syrian troops and armed fighters, witnesses said, recounting rattling sounds of sporadic shelling and gunfire.
Meanwhile, SANA said that army troops have killed a number of terrorists during raids of their hideouts on the outskirts of the northern city of Idlib.
On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported bombings by government troops on a number of hot spots, bringing Thursday's death toll to 92, including 27 civilians, 27 rebel fighters, and 38 regular troops.
The reports, however, could not be verified independently.
The spillover effect of domestic violence started to be felt by its neighbors, as little progress has been made in restoring peace in the Middle Eastern country,
Three stray mortar shells fell Tuesday in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, which defense officials believed to be related to Syria's domestic fighting, Israel Radio reported.
One of the shells landed on the fence surrounding the Alonei Habashan community near the DMZ, but did not explode. The other two exploded in open areas. No casualties have been reported.
Security officials appeared positive that there was no intention against Israel, but UN forces have stepped up patrols along the border to prevent any friction between the two countries following a string of such incidents.
"There have been sporadic firefights between the Syrian security forces, including the Syrian army and armed members of the opposition in the area of separation in Golan," Martin Nesirky, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said Tuesday.
He said that the activity "has the potential to escalate tensions between Israel and Syria, and jeopardizes the cease fire between the two countries and the stability of the region."
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed it later, an act not recognized by the international community.
The demilitarized zone was created after the 1973 war in which Syria tried to retake the strategic plateau, and Syria has long called for Israel's full withdrawal from the area and set it as a condition for making peace with Israel.
DAMASCUS, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Syrian state-run newspaper al- Baath expressed Thursday expectation that the U.S. administration would consider a political solution to the Syria crisis after the re-election of President Barack Obama.
"As for the Syrian crisis, it is expected that the U.S. administration under Obama's second term would consider the political solution in general and the Geneva Convention specifically," al-Baath said in an editorial titled "What after Obama's victory".Full story
DAMASCUS, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The daily grind of violence kept its escalating momentum on Wednesday with fresh blasts and clashes that have sent people on edge.
The capital Damascus woke up Wednesday morning to the rattling sound of multiple mortar shells fired by the armed rebels and struck the al-Mazzeh-86 district, killing three people and injuring other seven.Full story