DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday that his administration's war against terrorism is a "battle of existence," according to the state news agency SANA.
Assad made the remarks in a speech marking the 69th anniversary of the Syrian army, during which Assad stressed that there would be no leniency in fighting terrorism. "Today we are more determined to stand in the face of the terrorist and colonial schemes of sedition and defragmentation that target Syria and the entire region," Assad said.
The president stressed that "we reject bargaining on our causes or compromising our rights. We will not deviate from our principles and we will hold fast to our approach."
He said there would be no wavering in "defending the homeland despite the woes and the hardships and conspiracies would make us stronger."
Assad's remarks come at a time when his troops are deadlocked in battles against the so-called Islamic State militant group and other hard-liner groups across Syria.
The Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaida-breakaway group, has been advancing recently in eastern and northern Syria, as other rebel groups are fighting the government troops to keep their positions in the eastern and northern countryside of Damascus.