Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said the nation's two-year civil war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives can only be decided on the battlefield.
"All routes have been tried and there is only one option left, which is to defend ourselves and our country with our own hands, and in this case everybody looks naturally to the armed forces," Assad said yesterday at a banquet with social and political figures, according to official news agency Sana.
"It will be decided on the field," Assad said. While a "parallel political course" is possible, the government won't see any negotiations as "justification to stop combating terrorism." Assad's government says the opposition is led by Islamist extremists, while the rebels say they're fighting to oust a dictator.