|Syria fighting the battle of life, Assad says||
“The fate of our people and our nation, past, present, and future, depends on this battle,” Assad said in a speech published by the state-media on Wednesday.
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 said.
“The army is engaged in a crucial and heroic battle… on which the destiny of the nation and its people rests. The enemy is among us today, using agents to destabilize the country, the security of its citizens… and continues to exhaust our economic and scientific resources,” Assad added.
The speech was delivered on the 67th anniversary of the establishment of the Syrian army.
“They (the enemy) wanted to deprive the people of their national decision… but they were astonished to see these proud people, who confronted their plans and defeated them,” the Syrian president stated.
“You men of the country… you have demonstrated, in dealing with the war waged against our country by the terrorist gangs, that you possess an iron will and a keen awareness.”
Assad also pointed out that the Syrian “military remains the backbone of the motherland.”
In the northern city of Aleppo, at least 150 rebels were killed on Wednesday after Syrian troops stormed a rebels-held school in the northern city of Aleppo.
The operation was carried out in Aleppo's Salahuddin district.
On Tuesday, the Syrian army cleared most areas of the northwestern city of Aleppo of armed groups, killing tens of rebels in the southwestern neighborhood of Salahuddin and the southern district of Sokari.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry recently sent two letters addressed to the head of the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general, stating that the rebels backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are using civilians in Aleppo as human shields, and killing anyone who does not support their “horrific crimes”.
Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the past months of turmoil in Syria that began in March 2011.
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