Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday that Syria would defeat what he described as a foreign plot being waged against the country, the official SANA news agency reported.
“The Syrian people will not allow this conspiracy to achieve its objectives,” Assad was quoted by SANA as having said. “What is happening now is not only directed at Syria but the whole region. Because Syria is the cornerstone, foreign powers are targeting it so their conspiracy succeeds across the entire region.”
He added, “The Syrian people will prevent this conspiracy from reach its goals at any price.”
Al-Arabiya reported that Assad’s statement was made during his meeting with an Iranian delegation led by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
Boroujerdi also met with the Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa, ending widespread rumors that he defected a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Al-Arabiya reported, at least 213 people were killed across Syria Sunday by forces loyal to Assad. The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) opposition group said that more than half of the killings took place in Damascus and its suburbs.
The Syrian army was accused of committing a massacre in the town of Darya outside the capital when 300 bodies were found on Saturday.
Graphic images which emerged on Sunday showed of dozens of bodies sprawled in the streets and lined up at a graveyard.
Earlier Sunday it was reported that the head of Syria's Air Force intelligence had been assassinated by an aide.
Lt. Jamil Hassan, an Alawite like President Bashar al-Assad, was murdered Saturday in his office, according to the reports. The Homs native was considered one of Assad's closest advisers.
He was allegedly killed by an aide who worked with the Ahfad al-Rasul (Grandchildren of the Prophet) Brigade, sources linked to the Free Syrian Army said.