Assad 'vows to retake all of Syria'

13 February 2016 BBC Online


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to retake "the whole country", in an interview published hours after a pause in hostilities was agreed.He told AFP news agency the involvement of other countries in Syria meant that "the solution will take a long time".Earlier, the UN said it hoped to start delivering aid to some besieged areas in Syria within the next 24 hours.It came after world powers agreed to push for a cessation of hostilities in a week's time.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 over a year because of fighting. About 13.5 million people are in need of aid, the UN says.Speaking in Damascus, Mr Assad said government forces would try to retake all of Syria "without any hesitation", but that the involvement of regional powers meant that "the solution will take a long time and will incur a heavy price".

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