Syria adopted a defiant stance on Sunday following President Obama’s decision to seek approval from Congress before taking military action. “Syria … is capable of confronting any external aggression,” President Assad said during a meeting with Iranian officials.
He said US threats of strikes would not discourage Syria from its principles.
Emboldened by the wavering over strikes, shelling by government forces picked up again yesterday morning after days of widespread military evacuation.
Government rhetoric also heated up, with commentators increasingly assured by the lag over military action. A state newspaper Al-Thawra welcomed the US decision as the end of American influence. “Obama announced yesterday, directly or through implication, the beginning of the historic American retreat,” it said.
The Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad, said Syria still believed that the US would strike due to the pro-Israel leanings of Congress.
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