Syria ready for any ‘external aggression’: Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his country is ready for any "external aggression" as his regime described Obama`s move to seek Congressional nod before launching a military strike against it as "historic American retreat".

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2013, 21:58 PM IST

Cairo: Syria`s embattled President Bashar al-Assad today said his country is ready for any "external aggression" as his regime described US President Barack Obama`s move to seek Congressional nod before launching a military strike against it as "historic American retreat".

"Syria is capable of facing up to any external aggression just as it faces up to internal aggression every day, in the form of terrorist groups and those that support them," Assad said.

Syria continues to "record victory after victory", he was quoted as saying by state-run SANA news agency.

Assad`s defiant comments were his first since Obama in a surprise move sought the backing of American lawmakers before launching military action against Syrian regime over alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians.

Earlier, the official Al-Thawra daily in a sarcastic attack on Obama said, "Whether the Congress lights the red or green light for an aggression, and whether the prospects of war have been enhanced or faded, President Obama has announced yesterday, by prevaricating or hinting, the start of the historic American retreat."

The paper in a front page article said Obama worries about limited intervention turning into "an open war has pushed him to seek Congress` consent."

The US claimed 1,429 people were killed in the chemical attacks in a Damascus suburb by the Syrian army on August 21. Syria, however, denied US charges, saying jihadists fighting with the rebels used the deadly weapons in an effort to turn global sentiments against it.

Giving Syria`s first reaction to Obama`s decision, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad today said Obama has become "hesitant" and "confused".

"President Obama was clearly hesitant, disappointed and confused when he spoke yesterday," Muqdad said.

He also urged the US Congressmen to show "wisdom" while voting on the proposed military attack on Syria. "We ask the US Congress to show wisdom," Muqdad said.
Earlier, the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad said it has its "finger on the trigger" over an imminent military strike from the US and its Western allies.
"The Syrian army is fully ready, its finger on the trigger to face any challenge or scenario that they want to carry out," Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said yesterday.

PTI