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Syrian opposition downplays Assad's speech

(Xinhua)

09:39, June 04, 2012

DAMASCUS, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Syrian opposition at home played down the speech delivered by the country's President Bashar al- Assad Sunday, who said Syria is subject to a "real war" and blamed foreign-backed terrorists and extremists for being behind the daily grind of violence.

Hasan Abdul-Azim, head of the National Coordination Body, dismissed the speech saying "it brought nothing new about the requirements of the Syrian protest movement," suggesting that the country's leadership is still handling the crisis with security and military resolutions.

Abdul-Azim contended that the government hasn't lived up to its commitment to the six-point peace plan brokered by UN, Arab League (AL) joint envoy Kofi Annan and that "it is still waging war against its own people that rose up in a peaceful revolution."

"It (the government) is still branding the revolution as the work of armed, terrorist, Salafi and Takfiri gangs," Abdul-Azim told Xinhua.

Another opponent, Luai Hussain, head of Tyaar Binaa Syria or the Current for Building Syria State, said Assad's speech contained a new phrases, which is admitting the existence of a crisis in Syria that needs to be handled politically.

He, however, said the new acknowledgment is not enough and that it would still be verbal so long as it's not paralleled with action on ground.

Hussain said the problem is not within the speech but rather within the actions currently undertaken by the government on ground.

For its side, the main opposition coalition abroad, the Turkish- based Syrian National Council commented on the speech, saying "it is a continuation of the blood solution."

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