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Assad says Syria's fate hinges on battle with rebels

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Aug. 1, 2012, 11:57 a.m. | World — by Reuters

A slipper hangs on a vandalised poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lying in a trash container in the northern city of Aleppo on July 24, 2012. A commercial hub and home to 2.5 million people, Syria's second city Aleppo has become a new front in the country's 16-month uprising, after being largely excluded from the violence.
© AFP

BEIRUT - President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday, Aug.1, the Syrian army's battle with rebel forces would determine the fate of his country, and praised soldiers for confronting what he said were "criminal terorist gangs".

"The fate of our people and our nation, past, present and future, depends on this battle," Assad, who has not spoken in public for two weeks, said in a written statement marking armed forces day.

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