2 Aug 2012

Fate of Syria at stake - Assad

4:40 am on 2 August 2012

President Bashar al-Assad says that the fate of Syria depends on the battle currently being fought with rebels.

In a statement addressed to the army, Mr Assad said the destiny of the Syrian people and the nation, past, present and future rested on the outcome.

The remarks appeared in a military magazine to mark Armed Forces Day.

"The fate of our people and our nation, past, present and future, depends on this battle," said Mr Assad.

In confronting "terrorist criminal gangs" the army had proved it had "the steely resolve and conscience and that you are the trustees of the people's values," he declared.

However, the message gave no clues to his whereabouts.

Rebels are still fighting in the city of Aleppo.