- 17 updates
Addressing the nation President Assad said Syria "will not have a dialogue with a puppet made by the West".
The remarks were his first in public since a Russian television interview in November when he pledged to stay in Syria and fight to the death if necessary.
A 21-month uprising against Assad has become a civil war that the UN says has killed 60,000 people.
President Assad called for "full national mobilisation" to fight against rebels in Syria, in an address at the opera house in central Damascus.
President Assad said that the rebels in Syria are "bunch of criminals" who carry the "ideology of al-Qaeda". He added that Syria will remain a free and sovereign country.
In a speech in Damascus President Assad said "suffering is overwhelming Syrian land" and the "nation is for all and we must protect it".
A statement in the Syrian media has said the country's President, Bashar al-Assad will address "the latest development in the country and region" today.
It will be the 47-year-old leader's first speech in months and his first public comments since he dismissed suggestions that he might go into exile to end the civil war, telling Russian television in November that he would "live and die" in Syria.
At the moment Insurgents are venturing ever closer into Damascus after gaining control of an suburban area from the city's eastern outskirts to the South West.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will deliver a rare speech today about the uprising against his rule, which has killed 60,000 people and brought civil war to the edge of his capital, according to Reuters.