DAMASCUS, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday said his administration will strike "terrorist" hotspots after restoring security and stability to the major areas in the country, according to the official SANA news agency.
Assad said Syria will first deal with the areas "which have been hit by terrorism" and later focus on striking other areas held by rebel forces.
The three-year-old Syrian crisis has reached a turning point, thanks to the Syrian military's victories against "terrorism" along with the national reconciliation meetings, he said.
The president made the remarks as the Syrian troops had been making strides in their battles against the rebels on several fronts, mainly in central and southern Syria.
On Sunday, SANA said the army carried out "successful operations" against armed militant groups across the country, killing tens of suspected militants and destroying their weapons.
It also said the army on Sunday regained full control over the eastern mountains overlooking the town of Rankous, north of the capital Damascus. The town has recently been recaptured by the Syrian troops.
The Syrian crisis started with anti-government protests in a number of Syrian cities and suburbs in 2011, but rapidly evolved into a bloody civil war, which has been joined by foreign jihadist groups, including al-Qaida-affiliated ones.
The Syrian government has repeatedly said that the crisis is largely fueled by a foreign-backed conspiracy, accusing regional and Western countries of supporting the anti-Assad movement.
More than 150,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in Syria since the conflict started.
DAMASCUS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad on Thursday branded the western rejection of the upcoming presidential elections in Syria as "insolence" and " interference" in the Syrians' decision.
"Their (western powers) insolence has reached to a point of interfering in the Syrians' decision to partake or not in the presidential elections," Mekdad said, stressing that "we will carry out these elections because the Syrian people want these elections." Full story