Arab Spring

Syria's Dictator Remains Defiant

Refuses calls to step down despite escalating civil war

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PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad has vowed not to bow to mounting pressure and "plots", almost two years into a deadly revolt in Syria, as at least 13 people were killed when a car exploded just inside the Turkish border.

On the war front, rebels seized control of Syria's largest dam, a monitoring group said.

"Syria will remain the beating heart of the Arab world and will not give up its principles despite the intensifying pressure and diversifying plots not only targeting Syria, but all Arabs," Dr Assad said, quoted by the state news agency SANA.