Assad attacks 'puppet' rebels

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rejected the opposition movement in Syria as "enemies of the people, the enemies of God" and branded them "puppets" created by the West, in a rare public address in Damascus.

View all 17 updates ›

US says Assad must step aside to allow transition

The US State Department dismissed a speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus as a meaningless attempt to retain power in his war-torn country and urged him to step down.

Assad's speech "is yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people's goal of a political transition," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland in a statement.

She added: "His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people."

More top news