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Syria`s Assad confident unrest over, acknowledges mistakes

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


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

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