Similarly, Syria's Local Coordination Committees said, through spokesman Omar Idlibi, that Assad's comments were "an attempt to legalize the liquidation of whoever opposes the regime, along with their popular civilian grassroots."
Assad's speech yesterday was his first in seven months, writes Agence France-Presse, but offered "little realistic prospect of ending what has become a civil war." Although Assad proffered what he said was a diplomatic solution to the conflict, including an end to the violence and dialogue with "loyal opposition," he dismissed most of those aligned against his government as "a gang of killers" of foreign nationality and backing.
“The one thing that is sure [is] that those who we face today are those who carry the Al Qaeda ideology,” he said.
The West widely dismissed his comments, Al Jazeera notes. The US State Department called his speech "detached from reality," and "another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people’s goal of a political transition."