|Sunday, 06 January 2013 22:14|
SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad has delivered a rare TV address, denouncing his opponents as "enemies of God and puppets of the West".
He lamented the suffering of the people in the civil war, saying a "black cloud" of pain engulfed every corner.
The speech was Mr Assad's first public address since June.
He said: "There are those who seek to partition Syria and weaken it. But Syria is stronger... and will remain sovereign... and this is what upsets the West."
The BBC's James Reynolds says the president's latest words are unlikely to persuade any in the opposition that he is ready to discuss a viable transition.
Mr Assad's last public comments were in November, when he told Russian TV he would "live and die in Syria".
Since then opposition forces have gained control of swathes of territory in northern Syria and have formed the SNC, a more inclusive leadership that has been recognised by the US and the EU.
- BBC News