Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday gave his assent to a counter-terrorism law for punitive actions against anyone proven to have committed acts related to terrorism, the state-run SANA news agency reported.
The move came just days after Assad said his country was at a state of real war and "the responsibility of the Syrian government is to protect all our residents. We have the responsibility to annihilate terrorists in every corner of the country."
Assad's statement reflects his determination to go ahead with military operations which started more than three weeks ago in areas that house armed opposition groups Syria blame for a series of killings, sabotaging acts and kidnappings. Armed groups also escalated their violent acts against Syrian forces amid daily reports of the killing of police and army personnel.
Earlier in the day, an al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for the recent attack on the headquarters of the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV station that killed seven people, the SANA report said.
Syria has been witnessing fighting between security forces and armed opposition groups, and unabated violence had left more than 10,000 people, including security forces, dead since a popular uprising broke out against the Assad regime 15 months ago. The government defends its crackdowns, saying foreign-backed extremists are fighting on its soil.
by RTT Staff Writer
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