Maybe not the best statement for him to make....
Syria in Ruins
While much recent media attention has been focused on Hurricane Sandy and America's presidential election, Syria's horrific civil war continues. In some places, it has worsened. Aerial bombardment of civilian neighborhoods, deadly sniper fire, brutal street fighting, assassinations, and summary executions have become the norm in Syria. Cease-fire agreements have collapsed, rebel forces remain disorganized, foreign intervention is still hamstrung, and no path to peace appears to be forming yet.
Britain is now reportedly looking for options to circumvent an arms embargo in order to supply rebels with weaponry. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains defiant, stating in an interview with Russia Today that he planned "live and die in Syria," adding, "I am tougher than Gaddafi." Collected here are images of this bloody conflict from just the past few weeks.
QATAR, TURKEY CHIDE OPPOSITION
Backed by Washington, the Doha talks underline Qatar's central role in the effort to end Assad's rule as the Gulf state, which funded the Libyan revolt to oust Muammar Gaddafi, tries to position itself as a player in a post-Assad Syria.
Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani urged the Syrian opposition to set its personal disputes aside and unite, according to a source inside the closed-door session.
"Come on, get a move on in order to win recognition from the international community," the source quoted him as saying.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu delivered a similar message, saying, according to the source: "We want one spokesman not many. We need efficient counterparts, it is time to unite."
An official text of a speech by Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Mohamed al-Attiyah showed he told the gathering: "The Syrian people awaits unity from you, not divisions ... Your agreement today will prove to the international community that there is a unity ... and this will reflect positively in the international community's stance towards your fair cause."
Red Cross says it cannot cope with Syria emergency
The Red Cross has said it "can't cope" with the worsening situation in Syria.
"The humanitarian situation is getting worse despite the scope of the operation increasing," said Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Turkey’s (NATO) Patriots
After months of bluster, and repeated threats to intervene in Syria, Turkey may be preparing to try and implement a no-fly-zone. The plan, as it has been reported, is to use Patriot to deter Syrian aircraft from entering airspace on or near the Turkish-Syrian border. The Patriot is an anti-balistic missile system designed to track and intercept long range missiles. The PAC-3 missile uses hit-to-kill technology – meaning that the missile’s warhead does not explode, but rather destroys the missile and its accompanying warhead (everyone hopes) – with kinetic energy. Patriot has a mixed track record in combat.
Turkey mulls defensive measures on Syrian border
Turkey is drawing up contingency plans with the NATO military alliance to fortify its border with Syria, and a Patriot missile deployment is one option on the table, Turkish officials say.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul told reporters Thursday that due to the ongoing civil war in Syria and its possible repercussions for NATO-member Turkey, every measure was being considered to counter the risks.
Discussions have been ongoing "within NATO... in terms of defensive measures" and many defensive scenarios are being looked at as a precaution, Gul said when asked whether Turkey was seeking to acquire Patriot missiles from NATO.
International and Turkish media reported Wednesday that the government planned to ask NATO to station Patriot missiles along the border with Syria, but the prime minister denied the report.
"We have not made such a request. Let me be clear, we are not thinking about or in a position to buy Patriots at this time," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters during a visit to Bali Wednesday. He seemed angry about the media reports, insisting that the foreign ministry official said to be the source for the information had no right to make such a statement.
Schools were closed in the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar Thursday as intense fighting raged in the area between loyalist Syrian forces and fighters from the rebel Free Syrian Army.
"We can hear the sounds of fighting. The town is very quiet today, not a lot of stores opened up," said Mehmet Saitavci, a neighborhood mayor from Ceylanpinar.
"People here have a lot of relatives on the other side and they are coming up to the border and the Turkish military takes them and brings them into Turkey. We were told we can have our relatives be our guests for a few days by the municipal mayor," said Saitavci, who also reported that two Turks were injured, but not seriously, due to stray gunfire.
Syrian rebels kill prisoner as war fuels hatred
Unarmed and cornered by Syrian rebel fighters, the man seemed to accept his death with more silent sorrow than surprise; his killers did not hesitate as they shot their prisoner.
The incident, filmed by a Reuters video crew, happened last week in Harem, near Aleppo, where rebels have surrounded hundreds of troops and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Taking one neighborhood after days of bitter street fighting, opposition fighters went from house to house.
From one building they hauled a man in middle age, dressed in casual clothes, black bearded and without a weapon. He seemed anxious and shied away as he stumbled into the street. Three rebels fighters casually raised their Kalashnikov rifles. A shot rang out, then another. A third. The man began to fall. Still silent. More shots. He lay still. A final round hit his head.
Brigade commander Basel Eissa did shout at his men but was unable to stop them. Leaders of the unit said the fighters were angry at taking casualties. They also justified their action by saying they later found documents showing the dead man was a loyalist army officer - though that would be no defense in a war crimes court.
"I try to remind them that there are moral reasons we do not just kill soldiers," Eissa said. "And beyond that, I tell them that strategically it is bad - we get help or information when we spare these men's lives. We are not their judge, God is."
Commanders are also aware that bad publicity could hamper rebel efforts to secure arms and funding from abroad that might allow them to better match the tanks, aircraft and artillery which Assad's forces are using against them to deadly effect - Eissa himself was killed in an air strike earlier this week.
7 killed after assad aerial strikes on Maaret al Nouman, including 5 from the same family. RIP. Idlib
Riad Seif to AJ: An agreement in principle has been reached on forming a political entity w/ participation of SNC
FSA seizes a long-range missile battalion Al afteras reportedly in Damascus http://youtu.be/uGOG4ykSgug