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Assad vows to retake all of Syria

February 12, 2016 6:38 pm

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that he intends to retake “the whole country” from rebel forces.

In a rare interview, he told AFP news agency that defeating the groups ranged against him could take some time due to the involvement of regional powers.

World powers have agreed to push for a cessation of hostilities in a week’s time.

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The UN says it hopes to start delivering aid to some besieged areas in Syria within the next 24 hours.

Mr Assad expressed support for peace talks but said negotiations did not mean “we stop fighting terrorism”.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Mr Assad was “deluded” if he thought there was a military solution to the conflict.

More than 250,000 people have been killed and some 11 million displaced in almost five years of fighting in Syria.

Some Syrian cities have been cut off from humanitarian aid for more than a year because of fighting. About 13.5 million people are in need of aid, the UN says.

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