Syria`s Assad confident unrest over, acknowledges mistakes
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 23:16
  
Damascus: Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad says he believes the unrest roiling the country is coming to an end while acknowledging that security services had made mistakes in trying to tame a two-month revolt threatening his regime.

Assad made the assertions in a meeting with a delegation of dignitaries from the Medan district of Damascus, a commercial zone, according to today's edition of the Arabic-language daily Al-Watan, close to the government.

"President Assad gave assurances that Syria had overcome the crisis it went through and that events (shaking the country) were coming to an end," the private daily quoted him as saying, without specifying when the meeting took place.

Assad also acknowledged wrongdoing on the part of security services, attributing it to lack of training for such circumstances which, he said, are usually handled by police, according to the paper.

It quoted him as telling members of the delegation that 4,000 police officers were currently undergoing training in order to avoid further mistakes.

"The role of the security services is to gather information, analyse it and hand it over to the proper authorities," a member of the delegation quoted the president as saying.

Assad's authoritarian regime has sought to crush the greatest challenge to nearly five decades of rule by his Baath party with a brutal crackdown that has left more than 850 people dead and at least 8,000 arrested, according to rights groups.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 23:16


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