The leader of Syria, President Assad, has made a speech in which he has labelled his opponents as “puppets of the West”. The speech has been heavily criticised by the US government who have perceived it as an attempt by Assad to maintain his power in the country. In the speech, President Assad spoke of his proposed peace plan, however his proposals have been seen as being “detached from reality” by the US state department.The reaction from the EU was equally as discouraging for the President as they urged him to “step aside and allow for a political transition”. Since the uprising in the Middle East began in March of 2011, it has been estimated that more than 60,000 people have been killed.
This was Bashar al-Assad’s first public address since June and on the whole was not positively received. The content of his speech was seen as aggressive in parts, especially when he referred to Syria wanting to “negotiate with the master not the servants”. He went on to say that Syria was not outright rejecting diplomatic strategies but that at the same time they have no intention of brokering agreements with terrorists. Although the speech was delivered in the Arabic language, translations have been made available on the internet and the highlights have been discussed in the western media.
Video footage of the speech shows a very angry crowds forming and rushing the stage as soon as Assad’s address was finished. Even without being able to understand the Arabic language, it is clear to see that the promises delivered in the speech were not what the crowd wanted to hear.
Calls for Bashar al-Assad to leave his position in office are now coming from around the world as well as from within his own country.
Source: BBC News